Lower Back Pain: I had PMR from March 2016 stopping... - PMRGCAuk

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Lower Back Pain


I had PMR from March 2016 stopping steroids Dec 2019 and was planning to tell everyone there was light at the end of the tunnel after 6 clear months but I am now panicking it’s back!!! I thought I had put my back out 10 days ago but it’s never lasted so painful for this long. I’ve got really bad lower back pain and wondering if PMR can start here. Last time it was my neck and thighs. Would appreciate any advice before I run the gauntlet of GP surgery for blood tests!

6 Replies

That is a common amount of time for someone whose PMR is at a very low level to reappear after stopping pred. It could be myofascial pain syndrome though - also quite common alongside PMR.

It sounds more like you have spasmed muscles than PMR. Not a good time to seek physiotherapy of course, but do what you can to a) relax the muscles - the pain can be referred from somewhere other than where you're actually feeling it, and b) when you are able start doing some exercises which will strengthen your core muscles which support the spine. Don't do anything which hurts.

There could be many reasons for lower back pain , especially if you thought you might have pulled something.

Have you had your Bone Health checked with a Dexascan since stopping Steroids.

You could have pulled a muscle or caught a nerve .

It would be a shame if it turned out to be a return of PMR.

Are you having any of your original symptoms?

Have you tried rest , heat pad and some Paracetamol and seen if it gives any relief for a few days. A bath or massage the area with water by using your shower head near the area in pain . Use a Joint or Back relief ointment . Try some relaxation and gentle stretching on your bed , stretching that brings relief , stop extending if it feels tight or twinging. Self massage of the area .

It's a very awkward time to have something like this happen . Be careful with your movement , try and work out over a few days which movements trigger more Pain or if normal pain relief , a little light walking and rest help first.

Tests and things for non emergency treatment are on hold just now but if it gets worse and you think you need a Doctor urgently contact your surgery for a phone appointment , that's how they will help you.

A Dexascan could be discussed to be on the list after this virus crisis , they may or may not decide on blood tests at the moment though if you haven't been experiencing classic symptoms , and there could also be delays unless you are having mobility issues and extreme pain for an x-ray.

Give it a little time maybe , you are understandably a bit more nervous when pain begins that PMR may return , the idea makes us all a little anxious. Try to rule out other options first.

I have been on Pred for just over 2 years. A few months ago I got lower back pain. I have had MRI 2 parts, xrays the lot. It was found that I had 3 bulging discs. One may be trapping a nerve. Whether it has anything to do with Pred or PMR I do not know. I am currently taking 7 1/2 mg . Am being referred to rheumatology to rule out it being PMR.


Forgot to add: try a one-off full dose of ibuprofen (800mg) taken with food and then sitting with a hot water bottle over the painful area (wrapped in cloth to avoid burns).

I had low back pain like that a few weeks ago - a spasmed muscle causing sacroiliac pain that made any move excruciating. I wouldn't normally suggest ibuprofen for us but 1) it is antiinflammatory and 2) you NEED an 800mg flooding dose to get it to work properly.

After that you take an ordinary dose if required - my 800mg lasted for 24 hours and when the pain broke through it was minimal and another 400mg sent it packing altogether.

in reply to PMRpro

Thank you to everyone for there suggestions and ideas. This forum was such a lifeline for the three years I had PMR and at the moment lovely to have some moral support. Not exactly the best time to be ill! Hopefully it’s not a return of PMR xx

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