Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR): Pain Management Tips

Struggling to sleep at night. Waking up in pain. Stiff to the point of being unable to move. Living with Polymyalgia Rheumatica is a battle in which you face each day frustrated by the prospect of waking up in misery once more.

Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR) is an inflammatory condition that causes muscle pain and stiffness, most commonly occurring in people over the age of 50. PMR can be inconsistent and more severe during the morning, after hours of inactivity. The stiffness experienced can limit flexibility and even daily function, especially in the shoulders, back and hips.

Although PMR does not have a cure, the symptoms can be managed by a number of different methods! Here are some tips on how to manage your PMR pain, but please note that these are just helpful hints and not medical facts. Always seek the counsel of your physician when discussing best treatment options for PMR pain.

Polymyalgia Rheumatica

Diet and Vitamin Supplements

One of the primary methods treating PMR pain is to prescribe low dosage corticosteroids over a set period of time; however, extended usage of corticosteroids can lead to weight gain, high blood pressure and bone loss. Your diet can help counteract these side effects!

According to Medical News Today, calcium and vitamin D are a crucial part of maintaining good bone health. Good sources of calcium include kale, okra, soybeans, spinach and salmon, while cheese, egg yolk, mushrooms and fatty fish (ex.- tuna), are good sources of vitamin D.

Healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acid, have anti-inflammatory properties. These foods include fish oil, flaxseed, walnuts and eggs. Avoiding refined carbohydrates, added or refined sugars, red meat, fried foods, margarine and alcohol, can also help to reduce pain-causing inflammation in the body.

Polymyalgia Rheumatica


Consistent exercise not only can help your PMR symptoms, but can also improve your overall health. From light exercise, such as yard work or running errands, to intensive weight training, engaging in an active life style reduces the risk of inflammation. Here are some examples:

  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Yoga
  • Aerobics
  • Weight training
  • Swimming

Research Study Participation

Just because there isn’t a cure, does not mean that there isn’t hope for one! Physicians at Stamford Therapeutics Consortium are evaluating potential new treatment options for adults suffering from PMR. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with PMR, you may be eligible to participate in clinical research study. Qualified participants will receive study-related care and medication at no cost, as well as receive compensation for travel. To learn more on how you can be involved, CLICK HERE.