PMR and Sciatica with Back Pain

Posted by susi451 @susi451, Oct 12 9:23am

Hello everyone,
I have been diagnosed with PMR for 2 1/2 years. I am currently on 4 mg of Prednisone and have tried several times to stop. I have gotten down to 1 mg but developed so much moving back pain I had to return to 4 mg. Over the last 9 months, I have suffered with a right leg sciatica pain that gets much worse when I titrate the Prednisone down. When I return to 4 mg, the pain is relieved, although maybe only 75%. I basically treat myself at this point; am waiting for a first time rheumatology appoint in early December. My primary doctor moved about 8 months ago so now just trying to manage myself. I am a retired nurse so am well versed in treatment methodology. I have read a couple of research articles about PMR and sciatica. So I do not feel like I am way off base thinking there is a connection between my sciatica pain and PMR. I am very active-I try to walk at least 2 miles ( split during the day), 7 days a week. Sometimes it is painful but I push myself because anything is better than sitting around. I am 73 years old and need to stay active. I am wondering if others have had sciatica pain with their PMR?

Hi, i had PMR when I was in my 50’s and had no problems with sciatica. It has recurred and I am now 74 and have some sciatica. I tend to think it is an indirect effect of PMR. Pain in one place causes me to alter my gait leading to pain someplace else. I do walk daily and do a senior exercise class 2-3 times a week. This class is now via Zoom, not in person and includes weights, aerobics, stretching. I find the sciatica pain is less likely to occur when I do this class regularly at my own pace. When the pain starts, I take Ibuprofen and mainly rest it for a few days. Interestingly, the first time I got the sciatica pain, it was a day after an acupuncture treatment I was trying??? This was when I was not on prednisone, but I think the PMR was “there”. It is hard sometimes to figure out which aches and pains are a direct result of PMR and which are secondary.

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Hi – Yes, I had sciatica (in my left leg) while I had PMR. Not all the time, but typically was triggered by long periods of sitting (such as driving in car). As I slowly recovered from the PMR – I went from 40 mg Prednisone to 20, 15, 12, 10 for many weeks, and then tapered down 1 mg weekly for a total of 5 months – the sciatica also improved and eventually no reoccurrence (so far!). I never had sciatica prior to PMR.

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@virginiaj

Hi, i had PMR when I was in my 50’s and had no problems with sciatica. It has recurred and I am now 74 and have some sciatica. I tend to think it is an indirect effect of PMR. Pain in one place causes me to alter my gait leading to pain someplace else. I do walk daily and do a senior exercise class 2-3 times a week. This class is now via Zoom, not in person and includes weights, aerobics, stretching. I find the sciatica pain is less likely to occur when I do this class regularly at my own pace. When the pain starts, I take Ibuprofen and mainly rest it for a few days. Interestingly, the first time I got the sciatica pain, it was a day after an acupuncture treatment I was trying??? This was when I was not on prednisone, but I think the PMR was “there”. It is hard sometimes to figure out which aches and pains are a direct result of PMR and which are secondary.

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Thank you Virginia for your comment. I used to take the senior aerobic classes but of course had to stop due to COVID. You have inspired me to try them again even though I am still a little worried about COVID.

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@cjh51

Hi – Yes, I had sciatica (in my left leg) while I had PMR. Not all the time, but typically was triggered by long periods of sitting (such as driving in car). As I slowly recovered from the PMR – I went from 40 mg Prednisone to 20, 15, 12, 10 for many weeks, and then tapered down 1 mg weekly for a total of 5 months – the sciatica also improved and eventually no reoccurrence (so far!). I never had sciatica prior to PMR.

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Thank you for your response. I am anxious to see what my rheumatologist will say about the sciatica. I am so hoping to get off this prednisone but just can't quite make the break. I am so happy that you have recovered. Stay healthy!

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@susi451

Thank you Virginia for your comment. I used to take the senior aerobic classes but of course had to stop due to COVID. You have inspired me to try them again even though I am still a little worried about COVID.

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The class I “attend” is virtual, on Zoom. We were going to go back in person, but the Delta variant surge of Covid stopped that. We will continue to be virtual for awhile

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