Patient Comments: Polymyalgia Rheumatica - Symptoms

The symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your symptoms at the onset of your disease?

Comment from: Rosebuddy, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 21

I was diagnosed with polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) 13 months ago following an upper respiratory infection that I picked up from the nursing home where I worked. The pain started in my hips and then I developed a severe headache. I coughed for six weeks and ended up in the emergency room with severe pain in head and hips. No GCA (giant cell arteritis) but I was diagnosed with PMR and branch retinal vein occlusion. I was started on prednisone. At ten month point I got down to 1.5 mg prednisone and the PMR came back with a vengeance. Now I am starting all over again trying to control pain and then will begin the slow trek of titrating the prednisone down. I've noticed that quite a few people were exposed to virus working in healthcare setting before onset. I wonder if there is any connection.

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Comment from: JJBLUiisN39, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: July 28

I was recently diagnosed with polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR), and this past Friday had a temporal artery biopsy as my eye doctor saw some things that didn't look good to him and one of his colleagues. I should have the results by tomorrow, I am currently on 70 mg of prednisone a day and it has finally taken control of the pain. I believe I have had this autoimmune disease for quite some time but it was so severe at diagnosis that lab tests were finally done which confirmed it. A new symptom has entered the picture and that is my feet stiffening and seemingly 'seizing' to the point where it is extremely painful. I am a retired massage therapist and volunteer at my local hospital, doing aromatherapy massage for our patients. Naturally, I am not currently allowed near the hospital so I am extremely bored now that I have the pain under control. Wishing all of my fellow-sufferers pain relief and a miracle cure!

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Comment from: farmer-rd, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 06

I was diagnosed in June 2015 with polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR). I am on prednisone and it is helping. Some days are better than others. My pain started in my shoulders and in my hips, they were the worst. I also had a lot of pain in my hands. Also my head hurt at various places at different times.

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Comment from: Richard, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: June 16

Unlike many others, I did not suffer any muscle pain with polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR), only extreme tiredness and exhaustion and loss of appetite, resulting in losing 10 kg in a couple of weeks. After several blood tests I was diagnosed with PMR and prescribed prednisone. The original dose was two 25 mg tablets per day. Within hours of the first dose I felt better, my appetite recovered and I was back to virtually normal sleep patterns. I am now on a gradual reduction of the prednisone and life is getting back to normal. It's remarkable for the instant onset and even more rapid response to medication.

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Comment from: Bunny, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 13

I was diagnosed with polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) about 8 months ago. Within 2 days my hips were aching and I couldn`t stand in one place except for a couple of minutes and my hips would lock up and I had trouble lifting my leg to start walking. I also went out to my daughter's motor home and I could not lift my legs to step up and once I did get up on the steps I could not get back down without help. I ache from my neck to below my knees mostly. At first I thought it was my fibromyalgia but it had never presented with these symptoms. I went to my doctor and she said right away that I had PMR and explained it to me. I was 70 then. I did all the lab tests and nothing showed up so she sent me to a neurologist and he did the physical exam and said that was what I had. At that time he said the lab tests do not always show up with the way to diagnose this. He repeated the lab tests again and the same results. So I was put on prednisone 20 mg. Pain was pretty much manageable but the side effects were bad so I received a decreased dose of 2 mg. Same thing; side effects of severe agitation and abdominal pain continued. I said stop the prednisone. Doctor said the pain will be continual and hard to deal with. So I have Ultram 50 mg BID. I take 1 sometimes at night but rarely. So here I am and I was a volunteer firefighter for several years and a nurse for 20 years and retired in 2008. Again I was very active, worked in the yard until the day this hit. I have trouble getting dressed and getting up. My body decided I would be awake at night and sleep during the day. I probably am rambling as I also have that fibro fog thing. Thanks for listening.

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Polymyalgia Rheumatica - Diagnosis Question: How was your polymyalgia rheumatica diagnosed?
Polymyalgia Rheumatica - Treatment Question: What was the treatment for polymyalgia rheumatica in you or someone you know?

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