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Have I actually got PMR?

Having had a tentative diagnosis of either PMR or Reactive Arthritis and having been given an intramuscular steriod injection at the end of August, I saw the Rheumatologist again last week. I was delighted when he said that I was cured; that the injection had enabled my system to stop producing the inflammation that was caused by Reactive Arthritis. He did not take any blood to check on inflammation rates, so how did he know?

Unfortunately, a few days later, the pains started to return and I am again having trouble bending down, going up and down stairs, and generally sore and much more tired. I am not as bad as I was before the injection but that was probably because I have had a month off the pains! Is any of this familiar?

I have made another appointment to see him in 10 days' time, but I'm not sure what is going on.

6 Replies

Hi Suzy, this sounds really frustrating! I'm afraid I don't really know anything much about reactive arthritis, but I did think that it tends to develop in just one or two joints first. Has this been the case with you, or have you had more of a problem with pain and stiffness all over your body, or just the shoulders on both sides? If so, that would be more typical of PMR. Either way, let's hope this rheumy gets you sorted out quickly. There's an article about reactive arthritis on the website

If you'd like us to send you the PMRGCAuk info pack on PMR, email us at and we'll post one out to you.




Suzy, I have had PMR for @ 5 months and am still learning daily. Your symptoms sound more like PMR but blood tests are necessary. Be aware that the blood tests are not 100% accurate with PMR as I have learned. Abrupt pain in shoulders and legs, hips etc. especially in the morning, were my symptoms. I have been on and off with Prednisone until this goes away. I hope this helps.....


Oops, should have said up and down with Prednisone, as I have not been completely off of them yet....


Thanks for the replies...Just to try to list my symptoms :- mostly aching and sore legs and knees, all large muscles, trouble bending down, going up and down stairs, feeling like I have run a marathon when I haven't. My hips hurt intermittently(but I have had trouble there for longer than I have had these other symptoms and had pain killing injections in my lower back last year). I have had pain across my shoulders and down my arms, but this is also complicated because I also had a frozen shoulder which was operated on in May and I have now got a trapped nerve in my neck on the other side- possibly a result of poor posture in response to the pain?. I feel tired if I do more than the minimum, and am not sleeping at all well, tossing and turning all night as not comfortable.

The symptoms developed 7 months ago, after a really bad virus which included throat infection, conjunctivits and sinusitis, and I have had lots of blood tests since then with no conclusive results. I finally went to the Rheumatologist at the end of September and he gave me an intramuscular steroid injection to test my reaction. I quickly felt much better, although my arm was very sore (more to do with the trapped nerve). I had a follow up appt. after 4 weeks and the Rheumy said I was cured and discharged me. Then, of course, the pain started to come back the next day, and has continued to worsen in the 10 days since then.

I certainly don't want to have PMR but I can't see that my symptoms match Reactive Arthritis except that this was a post- infection thing. What I don't get is stiffness in the morning and I think that's why the Rheumy doesn't think I have PMR- so confusing!! I will see him again on 5th Oct.


My stiffness in the morning only happens when I share my bed with my husband because I have to keep more still, if he goes away I find myself thrashing around in the bed much more thereby keeping my body active but not feeling stiff when I wake.



Hi Janet,

I'm presuming that you have been diagnosed with PMR? If this is so then the more you are mobile, the less likely you are to stiffen up. Having more room in bed helps. I have my own bed and my partner has his - he has "back" problems. It doesn't mean we don't love each other - it just means we both sleep better. After 27 years we still hold hands in public. I won't go on!

Hope this helps.



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