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nancy15228 nancy15228

PMR with joint pain in hands

Decreasing prednisone for PMR 

experiencing joint pain in hands and fingers

has anyone experienced this.....the pain is mostly upon awaking and decreases with use of hands


34 Replies

  • priscilla23271 priscilla23271 nancy15228

    Hi Nancy, yes, I did and ended up with full blown Carpal Tunnell.  I stopped taking blood pressure medicine, and Dr upped my pred dose from 7.5 to 15, and gradually over a period of months I am back to normal and also back to 7.5. I'm sure it was the blood pressure meds that started it, but PMR itself can cause it. Others may have a different explanation, it's just what happened to me. 

  • Daniel1143 Daniel1143 nancy15228

    Precisely what I experienced and continue to experience.  Thought I have been off prednisone now for a year, the swelling in my fingers has never subsided.  Joints and fingers ache all night, and I cannot close my hand fully until mid-morning.  It’s not painful, per se, but very annoying.  Remind me that zero prednisone does not equal in remission.

  • maria49950 maria49950 nancy15228

    Yes have very painful fingers, wrist but put this down to osteoarthritis which I do have. Saying that the pain has increased significantly since reduction of preds but my rheumatologist warned me that this would happen as the higher dose of preds would help alleviate the osteoarthritis pain as well.

  • diana21296 diana21296 nancy15228

    I tried to drop from 7.5mg to 7mg  10 days ago after being on 7.5 for 6.5 weeks and immediately I had pain and weakness in my right wrist which I suffered from badly when on a much higher dose 2 years ago and not since.    Went back to 7.5, was fine and now just trying to drop to 7 again after 8 weeks. Feels ok and pain free so far. Needed that extra 10 days on higher dose. I am holding my breath and will stay on 7mg for 8 weeks or more  before attempting another small drop. 

    • diana21296 diana21296 Michdonn

      Thank you Michdonn.  Yes I follow your posts.  I was going to use the DSNS method once I had got to 7mg.   I wonder....Once you have taken the 7 weeks to do the drop, how long do you then stay on the achieved dose or do you immediately start the next drop using DSNS??  

    • Michdonn Michdonn diana21296

      Diana, I been using DSNS since tapering off 30 mg. 6-1 takes 52 days. When I have finished one 52 or less if I have use modified version I have been starting the next segment. BUT I never reduce if I have any PMR pain. Lucky me, tapering down for a over a year only a couple of minor flares. I always use a conservative reduction; .5 mg when tapering from 10 mg. When tapering off 30 mg 2.5 and 4-1 DSNS. I hope that helps. Think positive and try to smile. ☺️

    • diana21296 diana21296 Michdonn

      OK thanks.  Glad it is working so well for you and will try it for getting down from 7mg as I am very sensitive to drops however small, even a quarter mg which I cut with a pill cutter!    Yes, always smile and keep very busy which helps!!

    • Michdonn Michdonn diana21296

      Good Diana, hang in there, let your body stabilize, get PMR pain free, before reducing your dosage, I stayed on 30 mg for 6 weeks before reducing. My Rheumy was upset, but it was the best decision I made on my PMR journey. Good luck think positive and try to smile.☺️

  • Michdonn Michdonn nancy15228

    Yes Nancy, I have hand and finger pain first thing in the morning. I hold them under running hot water moving them to get them moving, it helps a bit. Give it a try, good luck, think positive and try to smile. ☺️ Hell we are here to complain about it!

  • nick67069 nick67069 nancy15228

    It started for me at 3mg level.  I was fine before, but now I have swelling of the first joint on most fingers, both hands. I had appointment with rheumi  about a week ago and asked his opinion and he said it was probably PMR related.  Did give me some anti-inflammatory ointment, which helps a little.  He told me to stay on the same dose and not try taper for next 3 months.

    • Anhaga Anhaga nick67069

      Heberden's nodes, swelling of the joints nearest the fingertips, is a sign of osteoarthritis.  It's a permanent swelling of the actual bone, but after the activity of OA dies down pain also diminishes.  Important to continue to maintain range of motion in the fingers.  

    • nick67069 nick67069 EileenH

      I am sorry that I don't know the proper term for the joints...I looked up Bouchard's Nodes and they show up usually on the middle joint of the finger. I have swelling at the base of the finger, where the finger connects to palm of the hand. There are no bony outgrowths, just swelling and stiffens around the joint.

      I did run little experiment. My base dose is 3mg... I upped it to 5 ...

      First day- 5 mg... No change in swelling or pain, but I got surge of energy and finished lots of little projects that were on waiting list.

      Second day - 4mg - less swelling, pain completely gone and mobility is back.

      Third day - 4mg still better yet, I can use my hands to open jar and such, with reasonable force and no pain.

      I will go back to 3mg in a day or so. This experiment tells me that maybe I am a bit low on pred and/or PMR has become more active then before. Will hold steady at 3mg for a while, and postponed any reduction.

    • EileenH EileenH nick67069

      Technically - the proximal joint (the nearest to the knuckle) gets Bouchard's and the distal (furthest from the body) gets Heberden's. Only the name has been changed to confuse the innocent! You are now saying knuckle - and they COULD be an inflammatory arthritis which would respond to more pred...

    • nick67069 nick67069 EileenH

      Unfortunately you are probably right. Sad, isn't it? that is exactly what I need... as the PMR seems to be winding down I need something else to keep me busy - inflammatory arthritis. I will see how things develop and talk to rheumi at the next appointment.

    • Anhaga Anhaga nick67069

      I can't believe this.  Right after taking part in the discussion I appear to have developed the same problem.  BUT I'm going to blame it on playing stupid computer games and repetitive stress and see if laying off overusing the right index finger helps!

    • nick67069 nick67069 Anhaga

      I didn't know that you can get "infected" as you read about inflammatory arthritis, but you just proved it is possible. On a serious side, it seems to be more common then I thought, especially at lower pred doses...


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