Severe pain in hip after PMR flare: Last week I had... - PMRGCAuk


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Severe pain in hip after PMR flare

Omanain profile image

Last week I had a flare. I was almost at 8mg (DSNS) so I went back to 10mg and the GP told me to stay there for a month before trying to taper again.

The pain and stiffness in my hips is now better but I have an awful pain in my right hip, more buttock really. It is not too bad when I am sitting and OK when I lie down but the pain when I stand on it is horrible, walking requires every ounce of concentration and energy and stairs are impossible. From what I have learned here I think it maybe bursitis, but can bursitis be that painful?

I cannot get an appointment with a doctor for four weeks. I could see the duty doctor but I see little point in going through all I would have to go through just to get there, when all he will want to do is refer me to my usual GP (who I can’t see for four weeks)

Is the pain likely to continue at this intensity or might the increase in steroid help after a few days?

Any ideas as to how to relieve the pain? Painkillers don’t seem to touch it.

I’m afraid I am really down today.

32 Replies

Sorry to hear you are having a rough time. I have a problem with my left buttock (it’s an old injury to the gluteus muscles) and sometimes flares up, irrespective of steroid use. Can you afford a good private physiotherapist? NHS referrals take several weeks, but I find that the cost of going privately is really worth it. If it is Bursitis a bit of physio may help a lot.

Omanain profile image
Omanain in reply to peace_lover

Thanks Peace_lover but at the moment I can't get out of my flat!!

peace_lover profile image
peace_lover in reply to Omanain

Oh dear, hopefully a bit of (enforced!) rest will alleviate some of the pain. X

PMRpro profile image

"can bursitis be that painful?"

Oh yes! I couldn't put weight on that hip without squealing! But if the pain is in your buttock it could be piriformis syndrome and affecting the sciatic nerve.

You could google piriformis syndrome and see if any of the home-remedies are possible and the symptoms fit.

And if the duty doctor told me I had to see my own GP I would tell him to fetch him then - they can't use that get-out if you can't get a named appointment for a month.

Sometimes private physios will do home visits - but if you can't get out of the house someone will HAVE to come and rescue you. Even if it is paramedics to transport you to A&E.

DorsetLady profile image
DorsetLadyPMRGCAuk volunteer

“From what I have learned here I think it maybe bursitis, but can bursitis be that painful?”

Take it from me - yes it can! I’m going through a bad time at the moment- long story, long term bursitis not helped by knee op (opposite leg) recently.

Been having physio - not helped much! I do find that acupuncture and massage keeps it dampened down a bit. Only thing that helps is steroid injection - but they are restricted - and of course you have to get to GP initially! As you’re still on steroids an increase may help, but really it needs to be targeted as per injection.

An ice pack may help to take down inflammation. The jury seems to be out on heat treatment- some sites say yes, others no because it makes inflammation worse. Rest it as much as you can as well - not always easy.

You have my sympathy 🌷

I have arachnoiditis so have a few pain issues in the area but I have compared bursitis and piriformis syndrome and I think the symptoms for bursitis fit better. I will rest today and see how it is tomorrow. I am too tired at the moment to deal with receptionists and duty doctors!!

Thank you for your replies, it helps to know I am not alone!!

diana1998 profile image
diana1998 in reply to Omanain

I had bad bursitis on side of hip going towards buttock 10 years ago. Trying to walk or going upstairs was agony. I got it through repetative exercise in Curves. Iwent to hosp gym for NHS physio but the only thing that gave relief was acupuncture which luckily my physio was trained for. I've had it twice, 2nd time less so. For me the only cure was heat, rest and time with paracetamol. Good luck.. It will get better, rest assured.

Oh, yes. Bursitis hurts like the dickens.

I wore Thermacare Heatwraps (16 hr) for about 6 months every single day, and often went thru more than 1 in a day. It helped a lot. Al;so, Aspercreme was my new body lotion. That helped, too.

I know it hurts when you walk, or do any other exercise, but if you don't move around, it's never going to go away. Try doing leg lifts - easy does it - a couple at a times - when you're sitting in a sturdy chair or on the edge of the bed. Lift with your knee bent, foot hanging down. Go slow. Stop as soon as you start to feel it. Take a rest and try again, always stopping just when you feel the "pull". Stairs are a problem. Take each tread one at a time leading with the opposite leg.

I managed to get through it without a steroid shot. I walk a mile each way every day in my commute to and from work. But a shot might be better for you. Talk to your doctor.

Omanain profile image
Omanain in reply to GOOD_GRIEF

Thanks Good_Grief I will look into these products and try the exercises. I know it is important to keep moving but I think I may have overdone it yesterday and aggravated the situation. I have an appointment at the rheumatology clinic on 1st November so if it is still a problem then I will ask them about a steroid injection.

Margaret1951 profile image
Margaret1951 in reply to Omanain

Hi, I have same problem right hip, bed is a nightmare I have a job to turn over and get out of bed ! left one plays up but right real bad. I have to go up stairs one at a time as it kills me with pain. Going for X-ray on both hips and pelvis on 22nd.... a long wait, doctor wants to rule out hip joints have gone first then if that's ok rule out Bursitis . I have to take zapain but not touching pain at all 😡 only for GCA . The more I walk the worse it gets , hope you get treated before me, good luck x

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Margaret1951

How cruel - a steroid injection would possibly save you a lot of pain and wouldn't make the slightest difference to the x-rays showing OA etc or not.

Obviously it isn't his pain!

Margaret1951 profile image
Margaret1951 in reply to PMRpro

Very true it's me with this pain !! I shall ask him about an injection ! Back to early morning preds again as evening ones made my GCA flare up next day ! Suits some people but evidently not me 😱

You are lucky you have been offered xrays and seem to have a sensible GP. My GP said it was the PMR and refused an X-ray. In the end I went to an orthopaedic surgeon privately, who said I needed a hip op urgently or I would be in a wheelchair in six months. I was furious with my GP.

Wow how aweful for you !! My Doctor is great with me as he knows I will only go see him if in severe pain ! ( then I get told off for not going sooner 😂)

Took me about 7 weeks to go with my GCA as I thought I had a tumour ! Diagnosed immediately and on 60 mg preds same night ! Eye hospital day after, biopsy 3 weeks after ! Phew then few months after he diagnosed my PMR as I could hardly walk and felt like my muscles were all torn ouch, so upped my preds again.

Only downfall with him is tells dry jokes 😂😂😂 asked him why I get all these things and answer was " well margaret while you get them no one else does !! 😄

How long were you in hospital for and did you get much pain after ?

You are so lucky. When I first got PMR I went to different doctor who said I had a virus. This went on for several months. I could hardly move eventually and was in excruciating pain. In the end I went to a rheumatologist privately who diagnosed PMR in about five seconds. I go to a very small surgery and I think they have all given up. They get through staff like there is no tomorrow.

Can you not change surgeries, you should not have to keep going private to have these diagnosed !! There are nurses in my hospital who don't know what these conditions are but there are so many people out there they should have these in their exams etc.

I have been with my surgery for 11 years now and one of the doctors own it, he is the best but grumpy to patients who waste his time lol

I live in a village and the surgery is the only one around. I have to go there every week so I am probably better off as I am, which is frightening.

This won't help you, but might be interesting to some. My daughter had housemaid's knee (bursitis in the knee). A few weeks ago she went swimming in the sea at Deal and found when she crawled up the pebble beach, that something 'happened' in her knee and her bursitis was evidently cured. She told me this shortly after I heard an radio interview with Prof David Wartinger who has recently won an Ig Nobel Prize for medicine for researching how roller coaster rides can dislodge kidney stones -

see The story of the self-administered colonoscopy is pretty riveting too. Maybe doctors and medical researchers just need to be more imaginative.

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Marijo1951

The link doesn't appear to work - maybe try it on a separate line?

Marijo1951 profile image
Marijo1951 in reply to PMRpro

Sorry. Try this...

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Marijo1951

Thank you - loved it!!!!

i had pain in my right butt cheek so bad i couldnt go up stairs, my Dr sent me to PT for 6wks they did alot of strengthing excercises, bridges, good old fashion leg lifts, then added a rubber band to increase tension, clams, and a stretch for sciatic nerve. they diagnosed it as gluteus medius syndrome i think. it def helped, its back now a little and my left hip and hip joint hurt . every day i wake up and at night its hard to turn over and when i get up in the am my back and hip are so tight. I was thinking it was the PMR now im not so sure but my GP ordered a bunch of xrays last thur wating on results. I think maybe my issues are just from my back (which i havve had issues in the past) and maybe bursitis? im going to ask them.. when i was on pred for 11mos nothing hurt :) too bad its not a safe solution.... good luck but try the excercise you can google excercises for glutius medius/maximus etc.. and also the piriformas has good stretchs its important to stretch.. and its ALL tied intogether once one thing is affected its a snowball affect...

I saw my GP a couple of weeks ago and after a careful examination he thinks my hip may be broken!! I went for an X-ray and was told the results would take a couple of weeks as they were short of radiologists to read them! The two weeks were up on Friday but when I phoned for the results was told they would be another week. I am in limbo, taking painkillers and worried that I may be making things worse by moving if it is broken and by keeping still if it's not! Thank you for your help. I will look into it once I finally get my x-ray results.

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Omanain

Why on earth did he not send you to A&E? Their x-rays are read immediately - and of course that delays the non-urgent reports.

Omanain profile image
Omanain in reply to PMRpro

I don't know. Maybe because he wasn't completely sure, but it's left me in a ridiculous situation. I have to get to the hospital again on Thursday for an appointment at the rheumatology clinic. I thought I would have the results by then but now it doesn't look too promising.

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Omanain

If he wasn't sure that is why he needed an emergency x-ray - to be sure. There is also no reason why he couldn't arrange patient transport for you too - they can pick you up with a wheelchair so you don't have to walk.

It may not be too late - I do despair of GPs sometimes. Ring your practice NOW.

Omanain profile image
Omanain in reply to PMRpro

I will do. It is possible he could chase up the results.

piglette profile image
piglette in reply to Omanain

I have noticed with my xrays that they are now being checked with radiologists abroad one in Malta and another in Australia even. I would have thought they would have a quick check after the X-ray in house though if a broken hip was possible. I reckon I could see that on an X-ray. I despair.

Omanain profile image
Omanain in reply to piglette

I hadn't thought of that. It would be easy enough for the images to be sent digitally anywhere. When I finally get my results I will try, just out of interest, to find out where they were checked. Things certainly seem to be in a bit of a mess.

piglette profile image
piglette in reply to Omanain

It actually was on the printout of results which took me ages to get hold of. My GP cannot see the actual X-ray as the computer systems between the hospital and GP’s surgery seem to be incompatible. Goodness knows who runs these computers they are thirty years behind the times. My front room seems to be more advanced in technology.

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to piglette

The Oz option is to provide 24 hour cover - that's been going on for years. Malta is a new one though! Might get better English than from other countries - but wonder how B***** might affect that...

It really is a concern.

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