Has anyone had a massage while on pred? - PMRGCAuk


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Has anyone had a massage while on pred?

Janstr profile image

Pre PMR I used to have a massage every 3 or 4 months to free up knots etc as I worked at a keyboard & all would be OK for another 3 or 4 months. Post PMR, the massages would get rid of the pain for about an hour only.Post diagnosis & pred, the pain has gone & I've had no more massages.

Now 10 months later, I'd love to have a massage to get rid of any knots that may have formed & to keep things free as I lower my pred dose. I'm now down to 12 (originally was 40).

Do you think this is a good idea? I'm worried about causing bruising as this now seems to happen really easily

26 Replies
DorsetLady profile image
DorsetLadyPMRGCAuk volunteer

This subject comes up every so often - the general advice is try it and see how it is for you. You just need to make sure the masseur is aware of PMR and effect it can have on muscles - so the therapy needs to be a bit more gentle than on someone who doesn’t have PMR. No reason why you should bruise if done properly.

Janstr profile image
Janstr in reply to DorsetLady

Thanks so much for your reply. I will have a go at it

PMRpro profile image

I have myofascial pain syndrome along with my PMR - they are caused by the same inflammatory substances just they are located in the trigger points, the bits you feel as knots in the muscles, in MPS. About once per year I am able to get 12 massage sessions and manual mobilisation of the trigger points from the health service physio dept at my local hospital (I live in northern Italy, different system). I reckon that allows me to manage the PMR overall with a lower daily dose of pred.

I have had very localised bruises with the massage, when she is working on a particularly resistant trigger point. But this is deep massage we're talking about, it works so well I accept any bruises happily! As DL says - all you can do is try it and see how you get on. I'd recommend it - but do expect to feel a bit as if you are flaring the following day as it is likely she will release inflammatory substances from the trigger points and they will then have a systemic effect. Plenty of water to drink and not overdoing it usually gets rid of it in a day or so.

Janstr profile image
Janstr in reply to PMRpro

I must admit I have never heard of myofascial pain syndrome & so have just looked it up, & wonder if it's what I have had in my right shoulder for years, though I never had sleep issues that are described on the net. Massage used to relieve it for several months, & PMR eventually overtook it. I had no pain on higher doses of pred, but now have it slightly. Did it go away for you when on higher doses of pred? Based on yours & DL's replies I am going to try it, so thank you

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Janstr

I've had MPS for many years. PMR just joined in in the end! Yes, higher doses of pred help though may not remove it entirely.

Purplecrow profile image
Purplecrow in reply to PMRpro

PMRPro, you described it perfectly!

I recently started using massage and acupuncture to treat chronic low back pain. The result has been dramatic and encouraging.

My description of deep tissue massage felt like the massuse was rollerskating over marbles on my back! Uncomfortable for sure, but serious relief as trigger points released.

I also have red marks up and down my back for a day or so post-treatment, (but not actual bruises), and small price to pay for the benefit of the treatment. Muscle soreness the next day is relieved by hot shower and taking it easy for a bit.

AND, I think acupuncture has helped my depression and contributed to overall improvement of my mood, (probably because I am in less pain).

Overall....in my opinion, serious massage, and acupuncture, seem to have a place in the treatment protocol of PMR.

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Purplecrow

Yes - you have also described it perfectly! My poor physio has to put up with me squealing - but she knows me well enough to know to keep going!! I haven't tried acupuncture.

Purplecrow profile image
Purplecrow in reply to PMRpro

Me too!!! Squealing!!!

And... Acupuncture has been one of my treatment options for 25 years...it works... but then, the Chinese have known that for eons... works on migraines to arthritis, and who knows what else....

what!!! Drug free pain management??????

Who knew..???.but then big pharm gets no $$$...and so it goes 😁

DorsetLady profile image
DorsetLadyPMRGCAuk volunteer

As PMRpro says plenty of water and rest next day. My GCA has gone, but have arthritis, and day following massage, feel less pain but bit like I've been run over by bus! so good excuse to have a quiet day

I do go to an osteopath which I suppose is a sort of massage. I love it, the osteopath is particularly good and knows about PMR patients.

Janstr profile image
Janstr in reply to piglette

Thanks Piglette

I have had two Bowen Therapy sessions that has helped with neck and shoulder pain. This last time he worked on my legs, jaw and hands, and I must say the short term soreness is worth the result.

Hope you find some relief with a skilled RMT or physiotherapist.

Janstr profile image
Janstr in reply to PMRCanada

Thank you

I've tried cold laser therapy. It works wonders

Janstr profile image
Janstr in reply to Qubbie

Another treatment I have had to look up. It looks interesting. Thank you

I find the same thing .. there is no lasting benefit even though I enjoy the massage at the time. I often though feel very dizzy when I sit up afterwards. Turning over on the table is also hard. Very annoying. In the past it was always a lot more pleasurable.


Janstr profile image
Janstr in reply to RomiCurl

I'm hoping that now the PMR is theoretically under control , that it may loosen up any knots & make things easier later on. Pre diagnosis I also had problems turning over, but that should be OK now. Thanks for your feedback

I have back massage weekly as walking with PMR gives me back pain. Has helped enormously.

That's good to hear Jenni.

I have a massage once a month ( would go weekly but can't afford it) and find it very beneficial, but you have to find a masseur who is right for you. Sports and Thai is too tough for me . I have a back and legs massage and my masseur knows my body now and tells me where she finds knots and tension so that I can get those parts moving. It is also an hour of 'My Time' and that is psychologically amazing. I go to a lady who has a very warm, soft lit, scented room and the whole thing takes the tension away for a few days. It is good for me because I am sat at a computer 8 hours a day at the moment. (I have GCA not PMR but the Pred causes stiffness and pain in my arms and legs.)

Janstr profile image
Janstr in reply to Hellyowl

Thanks Hellyowl. I too used to sit at a computer for many hours a day & had blamed that along with poor posture. I've booked a massage for next week so am hoping it will be a positive experience

Hellyowl profile image
Hellyowl in reply to Janstr

Hope you enjoy it

I've avoided massages during pred due to bruising.

Janstr profile image
Janstr in reply to

I too have been avoiding massages , but have decided to try it

Reading all the posts below make me realize how individual the responses to massage and acupuncture are. I used to get once a month massages before PMR to keep me out of back pain and it worked wonders. After a year of PMR and a relapse, I was having once a week massage and acupuncture. After a few acupuncture treatments I had to stop as it seemed to shoot pains throughout my body and veins. Any relief was short lived. With massage I get relief but only for about an hour or two, although It feels good. I finally stopped that too so I can narrow down what works and what doesn't. Now just concentrating on getting the right dose of Prednisone after a big flare up. In other words, I think you'll have to experiment with all of this. Good luck.

Thank you

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