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Does anyone else with PMR, have a problem with there hands.

I have had PMR for the last 15 months, I started on 30mg of Prednisone and have managed to get down to 10mg. I also take 3 x 25mg of Enantyum liquid anti-inflammatory per day, which seems to be working. But the big problem I have is my left hand is always painful and stiff. I can't find anyone who has had a problem with there hands. I have had all the tests, which shows nothing out of the ordinary. Does anyone else have this problem. I can put up with the pain of PMR, but the hand causes me a lot more problems.

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My left hand has those systems sometimes and also goes stiff and i carnt move it for a few mins ive been told it the steriods ! Sorry not much help.



Hi Buenavista,

I think many of us with PMR get problems with our hands and for some reason the left hand seems to be more prone to strange symptoms. Two years ago I developed PMR and within a few weeks I was getting numbness, weakness and sometimes pain in my thumb and the outer two fingers of this hand. A specialist diagnosed ulnar nerve compression, but by the time I was operated on my hand was almost back to normal. He still did the op and I was left with a very neat scar next to my elbow. However, some weeks later, I had a relapse and my steroids were put up to 30mg again because the pain was back and, also, so were the symptoms in my left hand. The specialist had told me that the tendon in my forearm was thickened causing pressure on the nerve and he would cut some of it away to cure the problem. It hadn't worked. I think the pressure on the ulnar nerve was in the upper part of the arm and shoulder and when my PMR was worse the swelling increased and it effected the ulnar nerve.

I am very much better now and the symptoms in my left hand are almost gone and ,luckily, most of the strength has returned.

For most people the pain and swelling of PMR is in the shoulders and hips, therefore, the nerves and blood vessels in these areas are bound to be compressed and, I guess, this is what causes most of the strange sensations in our limbs, hands and feet.



Thanks for your reply pats,

I had carpal tunnel operation before I was diagnosed with PMR. This op solved the problem at the time, but I don't think it is the same thing this time, I think this has come from the PMR. I am seeing the PMR Specialist Monday and I will be in contact with my Orthopaedic Surgeon.



Hi, Happy Sunday. Hands, yes, my biggest pain area.Each morning it is difficult to reach over and pick up my glasses off the bedside table. The hands, including the wrists, feel as if they have been sprayed with starch, or even filled with concrete. It usually takes until mid-day/early afternoon before I can clench my fists so very very annoying,frustrating and painful. I was diagnosed three months ago and still the doctor is not sure if it is PMR, may refer me to specialist nurse this weekend. I was put onto 15mg in November, down to 10 a week later then up to 15 again and then onto 30 last Friday for a weeks 'blitz'. The legs,arms,shoulders etc are bearable but the hands - brings back songs from the past, "Aching all over" and the band, Stiff Little finger! Without the humour I dont know how I would cope.. I wish you well, and hope that we can soon be like a car Mobile, - Hands free!!

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I am seeing two different specialists for PMR and they both tell me different things. But the biggest problem I can see is that you are coming down to quickly. I came down from 30mg at the rate of 5mg per month until I got to 15mg, then went down to 12, then from there I went down 1mg per month. I am now on 8mg. Still have good days and bad days, as you know my left hand is bad.

The other specialist tried to bring me down to quick and like you it didn't work. Thanks for your reply and hope this is of help to you.


Are you seeing a GP or a rheumatologist, and have they considered another diagnosis? Generally one way of differentiating between a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis and PMR is whether there are problems with hands and fingers -- hand problems apparently aren't very common with PMR. I would wonder about considering a different diagnosis too because usually people do'tt need such a high dose (30mg) of prednisone to bring relief -- the recommended starting level s 15-20mg daily and if high amounts are needed, then this is often one sign too, to consider a different diagnosis.

It could be that you have another type of arthritis as well -- osteoarthritis for example? This could definitely affect hands.

If you have only seen a GP and not a rheumatologist, I'd ask for a referral to a rheumatologist.


Oops I see you have seen two specialists -- both rheumatologists? Are they familiar with the UK/US guidelines on PMR -- kind of odd they'd both have had you doing such fast reductions from such a high initial level of prednisone.

Here's one reference that suggests peripheral joint pain sometimes means that rheumatoid arthritis is the correct diagnosis:

On the other hand a later article has suggested that about half of PMR patients have some additional problems with a joint -- typically fingers, wrists or knees -- and this usually does clear with steroid treatment. I had several months of problems with both my knees, myself.


My hands and feet and head dont hurt but "everywhere" else does with muscle weakness as well. Do people experience such weakness they actually cant do a knee bend and get back up without having to push off something with their hands? I am 5.5 feet tall and about 160 lbs. My arms are very weak as well. Grasping strength is weak as well although the actual fingers dont hurt its just my arm are weak. Is this normal.


Hi bluejaygirl,

Yes on my bad days if I have to pick something up off of the floor , I either can not do it or I can do it really really slow, but I have to push off from the floor to get back up!

Hope you have more better days, pain free!



I too have pain in my hands, shoulders ankles. If i sit down for a while I have numbness in my arm and when i sleep at night iut wakes me up the pins and needles. If I lean on a joint or is I was to lean on my elbow my shoulder is very painful to move after same as if I sit on the floor and everything is painful to move I have to roll around to get up. Cold weather is a killer it makes everything hurt. When the pain killers start wearing off I get a horrible irritating pain in my muscles and my spine burns too. Shopping hurts, I have to take pain killers just vefore I go and make sure I get back before they wear off or I cant unload the car. My fingers hurt all the time .


yes i have the same my feet are also very soar


I have a problem with both hands sometimes wrists i use compression gloves and it does take the pain away i wear the at night


Hi Buenavista, I was very glad to find this site and see the comments re: hand discomfort. In 2013 I ended up in emergency after an episode during physical therapy. The discomfort was in the groin area. My doctor diagnosed it as severe PMR. Steroids (40 mg daily) took care of all discomfort (throughout the body) within 24 hrs. I have decreased my steroids to now 7 mg/day and am on a reduction schedule of 1 mg/mo. In the last 30 days my left hand (two middle fingers) have provided me with significant discomfort in the morning by afternoon the level of discomfort is almost nil. I am relieved to learn that others are experiencing the discomfort in their left hands as I was concerned this may be RA.

Since on the steroids I have had some of the complications associated with steroid use including cataracts, diverticulitis (12 inches of large intestine removed), carpel tunnel, trigger finger, ulnar compression, osteoporosis, etc. Though the steroids do ease the discomfort they can and will be costly (in terms of health) in the long run.

I am now in my 3rd + year of PMR and starting to see some light.

Thanks to all who have contributed to this forum. It all helps!


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Yes As I decreased my prednisone , once I got below 10mg day my hands kicked in

Symptoms similar to carpal tunnel, just had cortisone shots to both wrists, was a big help


I have hand pain, many joints and also Tendons maybe I think. Rheumatolgist says hands are Osteoarthritis, Not the RA I also have... also achey bones and some bumps on bone not at joints. Im on 15 mg of predisone for PMR and RA but continue to have mild-moderate symptoms of both. I am fully functional and fo 8-10 hours of active sports/exercise a week. I feel best when exercising actively


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