Natural Remedies for Polymyalgia Rheumatica Relief

| Modified on Apr 28, 2024
Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR) is a condition marked by muscle pain and stiffness, particularly in the shoulders and hips. While conventional treatments are effective, many seek supplementary and natural methods to complement their regimen. This article highlights key supplements and holistic practices to aid in symptom management for PMR.

Top Supplements for PMR Relief

  1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Known for their anti-inflammatory properties, omega-3 supplements can help reduce inflammation associated with PMR. Sources include fish oil, flaxseed oil, and algal oil.
  2. Turmeric (Curcumin): Turmeric contains a compound with potent anti-inflammatory effects that may alleviate pain and stiffness in PMR patients.
  3. Ginger: Like turmeric, ginger has been recognized for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, potentially relieving PMR symptoms.
  4. Vitamin D: Low vitamin D levels are linked to increased inflammation and pain. Supplementing with vitamin D may support overall bone and muscle health in PMR sufferers.
  5. Boswellia: Often used in traditional medicine, Boswellia serrata has anti-inflammatory properties that may benefit those with PMR.

Complementary Natural Approaches

  • Anti-inflammatory Diet: Emphasizing foods high in antioxidants, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, while minimizing processed foods and sugars, supports systemic reduction of inflammation.
  • Physical Activity: Engaging in low-impact exercises, such as walking, swimming, or yoga, can improve mobility and reduce stiffness.
  • Stress Management: Practices like mindfulness, meditation, and tai chi can lower stress and inflammation, positively affecting PMR symptoms.
  • Adequate Sleep: Ensuring quality sleep is crucial for the body's healing process, potentially easing PMR-related discomfort.
  • Heat and Cold Therapy: Heat can relax stiff muscles, whereas cold packs may reduce inflammation and swelling in affected areas.


Incorporating supplements and embracing a holistic approach to wellness can provide significant relief for individuals managing Polymyalgia Rheumatica. However, it's vital to consult with a healthcare provider before adding any supplements to your routine, especially to avoid interactions with existing treatments. By combining these natural strategies with conventional medical care, those affected by PMR can aim for a balanced and comprehensive approach to managing their condition.

Continue reading to learn which natural remedies helped Earth Clinic readers with PMR, and please let us know what helped you!


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Posted by Jocelyn (Toronto) on 04/03/2016


WARNING: I do not advise my patients to go anywhere near DHEA as it's contraindicated with anyone with a history of cancer. DHEA can stimulate testosterone and estrogen hormones and can excite remission cancers.

Anti-inflammatory diet is a good start including removal of all nightshades - these are inflammatory foods. I also recommend moving the body into an alkaline state. You can do this with the introduction of lots of leafy dark greens, legumes, beta-carotene foods - any orange vegetable: squash, sweet potato/yam, carrots, lots of vitamin C foods (raw not cooked as vit C is destroyed by cooking) vitamin E for vascular health, and good fats like avocados, coconut oils, olive oils, flax/hemp oils. REMOVE Canola, corn and soy oils as these are highly GMOd here in North America.
Soups, stews, smoothies are a great to include lots of nutrients in one meal.

Lots of supplements- but a good multivitamin 2x/day is a good start (NOT from a drug store go to a health food store) a 2:1 mag/cal - 500mg mag/500mg calcium combo is great at helping the muscles relax, and take them 6hrs apart. It takes your body 6hrs to metabolize these nutrients; more is not better.

Hope this helps.

Jocelyn - Nutritionist

Posted by Jane (Burdenham, Somerset, Uk) on 06/16/2013

Hi to all, I have been researching PMR as I think my mum will be diagnosed after her blood tests. I am an autoimmune sufferer with B12 deficiency and Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. I have been using 7 keto DHEA for a few years now though in the beginning I used straight DHEA. Yesterday I researched medical papers on the use of either of these as a treatment for PMR, as far back as 2000 I found that this had been researched with positive results. DHEA is a mother hormone for oestrogen and testosterone and 7 keto is a sulphate of DHEA which doesn't convert into either of these hormones, these are our bodies natural steroids. As you see PMR mostly in older people especially women or women who are peri-menopausal or post menopausal, then it is a logical asumption that the loss of hormones have an involvment in PMR. Men do not suffer to the same extent hormonally as women do which would explain why the majority of people who suffer are women. I use 7 keto for two reasons one is that it boosts T3 thyroid conversion two it is a very powerful immune support. There is a lot on the net re both of these products, it is worth thinking about. I wish you all well Jane x

Replied by Seadragoness
(Lakewood, Ca)

Thank you for your post. I was just diagnosed with polymyalgia yesterday 10-24-13 1 day after my 51st birthday! Im not sure about the rheumatica part yet but it looks that way. They are sending me to see a specialist. I do not want to take steroids. And since I am at the menopausal stage most likely I can replace the steroids more naturally or try what you suggested I have no idea what dhea is but I will research it. I guess I have alot of researching to do. Contact me anytime. Thanks

Replied by Ray Schilling, Md
(Kelowna, Bc, Canada)

7-keto DHEA is supporting the immune system. It is often very low in patients with autoimmune diseases including polymyalgia rheumatica. Your doctor could order DHEAS, which is the storage form of DHEA circulating in the blood. If it is low, I agree that 7-keto DHEA is the one to take, start with 25 mg and slowly increase to not more than 100 mg once per day depending on your symptoms. Also take higher doses of omega-3 fatty acids (molecularly distilled or pharmaceutical grade, the more expensive one, has 400 mg of EPA and 200 mg of DHA in one capsule). Take 3 capsules in the morning and three at night. Add to this 500 mg of curcumin per day. I am also very suspicious of an underlying wheat allergy (gliadin and gluten), which likely means you should refrain from sugar and wheat products. Read this blog I wrote:

Polymyalgia is another one of the inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Conventional medicine (before 2008 I belonged to that group) does not want to go there, but has not better answers than corticosteroids or methotrexate, both very strong and dangerous substances. Now I am retired and I can freely talk my mind; I am now interested in non-toxic methods of treatment as it is used by anti-aging medicine. One caveat: 10 to 15 % of patient with polymyalgia rheumatica develop giant cell arteritis in the temporal artery, which can lead to blindness. Your primary care physician can discuss this with you further.

Acupuncture, Dietary Changes

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Posted by Martha (Fort Worth, Texas) on 06/23/2010

PMR diagnosed 6 months ago. D.O. recommended Prednisone. One month later the Prednisone symptoms came: bruising, more night sweats, "moon face", threat of diabetes, osteoporosis, high cholesterol... I saw neither as a "solution".

I began to see an acupuncturist, two weeks ago. I have had two visits. She let my body tell her what I needed. She administered acupuncture, then cupping, followed by massage. She adjusted my OTC herbs, which closely follow what I have already read on this site. She suggested using the book "Eat Right 4 Your Type" (D'Adamo). I am eating 50% organic, and follow my blood type recommendations to a T. "Good food is medicine" she says.

I feel SO much better. I can get thru the day without a nap, my muscles hurt less, my temp at night is lower, I have less heartburn, and am HAPPY!

I would never have tried acupuncture unless I felt cornered. I felt no solution otherwise. Feel free to use what ever info you would like. I am 60 years old, and work full time. God bless.

Replied by Sally
(Chicago, Il)

I have just been diagnosed with PMR and am on a prednisone treatment. I am wondering how long you had to be on the prednisone after discovering that acupuncture was what helped. I have heard that you have to be weaned from prednisone very slowly. Thanks for your advice!

Replied by Jamie
(Lake Worth, Fl)

Sally, ask your doctor, please!! I would be leary of medical advise from an internet discussion board.

There are many knowledgeable people who come and visit this website and share. So I do not mean to be disrespectful. You medical care provider has your chart and history, and is aware of all details.

Prednisone must be weaned off, my dog was just on it for 11 days. He took half a pill twice a day for 3 days, half a pill one a day for three days, half a pill every other day for 3 doses.

Not trying to compare vetrinary medicine to your care. However, the point is even for such a short regiment there is a weening process.

If you are anxious and cant wait to see your doc, call the pharmasist. I am sure they could help you too, at least give you some information.

Replied by Carly
(Seattle, Wa - Usa)

I agree with Jamie - getting off of prednisone requires your doctors input - only your doctor knows how long and how much you have been taking. My husband quit taking it "cold turkey" last year, not knowing how serious it was until the terrible symptoms set in and we found out how bad it could be. Long term prednisone use requires great care in coming off of, trust me. If you do it too fast it can actually shut down your adrenals and kill you. Too bad the doctors do not let you in on this little fact when they prescribe such drugs. Take care, and do what your doctor says on getting off of them PLEASE. Best of Health to you.

Replied by Kim
(Los Altos, Ca)

I had been suffering from lower back pain in early October. On 10/25/11 I got the flu shot, and things went haywire, with pain up and down my legs, lower back, hips, and a low-grade fever. Had bloodwork done and they found Sed rate was 120 and my latest C-reactive protein was at 113! (low hemaglobin & high platelets too). Between the severe pain and inflammation, I was admitted to the hospital and had every test imaginable to no avail. (thankfully, no tumors or signs of cancer or any infection).

Because low doses of Advil helped the pain (the only anti-inflammatory drug I'd been given), I was sent home. 2 weeks ago, saw an acupuncturist, and what a difference! Pain is gone from legs, but I still have it sometimes in lower back. Combine that with a strict anti-inflammatory diet (no coffee, sugar, alcohol, meat, and eating lots of veggies, tumeric, green tea, etc. ) AND reading Dr. Sarno's book "Bodymind Prescription" and I can sit here at my computer and write this!

My doctors are saying I have PMR, but they really aren't sure of anything. They want to retest my blood and start me on low-dose steroids (they say if I respond, it will "prove" I have PMR).

After what will probably be over $100k in medical bills (yes, I have insurance), and over 10 doctors, and no answers, I have to say I'm a bit discusted with modern medicine at the moment.

Funny how no one asked me what's going on in my life, what I eat, or what seemed to help me (I had to tell them that Advil was the only relief from pain before I was let out of the hospital 3 days later).

I like the idea of lemon baking soda. Was also suggested to take a "baking soda" bath. Put several cups of baking soda in bath water - and relax!

Would love to hear from others if anyone has experienced a connection between PMR and the flu shot, and love hearing what natural remedies work.

Thank you all for contributing!

Replied by Debbie
(Melbourne, Australia)

Adding epsom salts to the bath (magnesium sulphate) would help with the inflammation as well.

Replied by Deedee
(Manahawkin, Nj)

Hello, I thought I would respond to your post as I have been going through hell since my flu shot in Oct. 2011. Right after the injection, my arm began to itch (internal itch where you can scratch all day and it won't relieve the itch). That came with a burning sensation. Asked the doctor about it and she said she never heard of it.

Next few weeks I began to have this sensation in my spine like I was having a spinal tap. Then came some vision loss. It was like looking at lattice work around the peripheral visual area leaving only the center of my vision open to seeing what was in front of me. Next, dizziness, nausea and GERD that got so out of control I would wake up with vomit and pieces of food in my mouth and throat. Vocal cords became so inflamed I lost my voice for 3 days. Next, right leg seizures in mid step. Muscle pain in thighs... Then, the ultimate. I couldn't get out of bed in the morning the 'usual or normal' way. The pain in my lower back area was so severe I rolled my legs off the bed then used my arms to push my upper body to a seated position or to drop myself to the floor on my knees. Getting up from a chair or toilet was nearly impossible so I got a comode for the toilet so I'd have something with arms to use. I stated standing to have my meals...

Like you, I had several tests, labs, etc. Finally, I took all my records to a new primary doctor who sat there piecing things together and came up with PMR. I'm concerned most about the visual problems/headaches so I have another apt. with Neuro. I am looking into acupuncture as I don't like the side affects of Prednisone. I've never heard of PMR/GCA but boy, my symptoms all seem to line up with it and I know it had to have something to do with that flu shot... NEVER AGAIN!!!

Replied by Patfoster
(Wilmington, De)

I, too, received the flu shot in October, 2010 and a couple of weeks later, my nightmare began. I thought I had injured some herniated disks in my neck when doing yard work, so I went to my neurosurgeon. My symptoms starting moving from my neck/shoulders to my arms, lower back and legs. I could hardly move. He ordered many, many tests, referred me to other doctors, and five months later, I was diagnosed with PMR by a neuromuscular neurologist. The day I began my first dose of prednisone, I was able to move normally again. I have had many relapses and am still on prednisone. My new rheumatologist has been tapering me (now at 8mg) and has recently combined it with another drug-hydroxychloroquine. I can hardly move most of the time, and am tired of feeling so bad, so I'm now looking for other ways to help me feel better and get off of the drugs. I will be exploring some of the suggestions of warm water therapy and accupuncture.

Replied by Jimmyeatsworld
(Weymouth, Ma, Usa)

In response to Jamie of Lake Worth "see your doctor, don't trust the internet". My mother suffers from PMR. The steroids have brought her relief but now she is dealing with the TERRIBLE side effects. Too many to list. What i've learned is, do not trust your doctor for treatment of most chronic disorders. Out of the eight years that they attend medical school they spend about 40 hours studying nutrition. Doctors mean well but in this age of corporate fascism they are governed by the restricions put on them by big pharma and the politicians whose pockets they grease. Compartmentalized to a streamline of disinformation. "If the solution is not a mega-profitable pill, shun it" is the standard dialogue in the medical field. I cured myself from what they said was an incurable virus that would kill me using natural cures that I learned about on the internet. God gave us ready made remedies for everything. Many can be found in your backyard, local forests and farms. It worked for the Indians and Chinese for thousands of years. But in the age of The Almighty Dollar...... Things have changed.

For starters, I would recommend staying away from vaccines, municipal tap water, processed foods and plastic containers with Bisphenol-A. I do this to the best of my ability. I have not had a vaccine, not even a tetanus shot, since 1996. I virtually never get sick! If I do its a mild cold that is short lived. I am embarking on this journey to find relief for my mother from PMR and the steroid side effects which are effecting her badly. This is a great forum with a lot of useful info. Thanks to all.

Replied by Dave
(Fountain Inn, SC)

In response to Jimmy and others who refer to the onset of PMR after vaccines, this just so sounds like an infection doesn't it?

I am an advocate on this wonderful web site for colloidal silver for killing virus, bacterial and fungal infections. Other things work to kill such infections such as echinacia which I love, especially for bites (use topically and take drops in water internally for a bad bite from spider) but silver solution will work better for a system wide infection.

I use a high ppm and take orally 2 to 3 teaspoons daily on empty stomach. For a really bad infection take over a six month period.

In determining if the "problem" say PMR which sounds at first not to be viral but actually may be based on virus/bacteria/ or fungus or yeast, I have found if one goes back to the inception of the onset, one might often come across some infection, surgical procedure, dental work etc, ever so slight... Well like vaccines mentioned in the posts above... and such might be the locus of the attack by the microbes.

So if I SUSPECT that virus/bacteria/yeast (mold, fungus, parasite) could be involved, even as a trigger, then at least try a strong ppm of silver solution. Use of silver goes back 2, 000 years to the time of the Greeks.

I have been on high doses of silver for nearly 20 years and make my own and give away bottles and bottles every year to friends and family.

I have never seen any issue with silver usage with side effects (eg skin tinting) ... not with liquid silver solution made with the electrical process where a solution is made so diluted that you cannot even detect a metalic taste in the water.

Replied by Tulip
(Willmar, Mn)

Tell your friend with PMR to see a Homeopath. A friend of mine had great success from a homeopathic remedy.

Replied by Gary M.
(N. Ca.)

I received a flu shot in 2005 and soon after became stiff and painful in hips, shoulders and hand knuckles. This was the year that 48 million flu shots were found to be contaminated and were destroyed, then were available in jan. 2005. I suspect the shots were still contaminated.

I was put on Prednisone and took it for 3-.4 years until I could ween myself off of it. I filed a claim with the HHS Vacine injury Compensation Program and was ultilmately rewarded a fat check but not nearly enough.

Now Oct.17, 2015 I am begining to experience a recurrence of the PMR symtoms and will see my doctors ASAP.

You must file a claim no later than 3 yrs. after your vaccine shot.

Good luck

Replied by Judy

I was diagnosed in 2013 now 2016. I had to find my own cure, for pmr, a natural diet high in antiinfllammatory foods, omega 3s tumeric, ginger, and the pineapple enzyme Bromelain, vitd3 vitc vite magnesium, for cramping, vit b complex for nerves, calcium and vitk2 for bone building, leafy greens, avocado, fruit, digestive enzymes, all helped, today, I swim, do water aerobics 3times a week, bowl twice a week do pilates once per week, garden, and enjoy life, I do not need painkillers, and I have weaned myself off prednisolone, after the initial6 months, of horrible symptoms, this regime worked for me, I will continue and fine tune this program for the rest of my life, as I do not want to relapse, I try to stay stress free, I believe in dancing music and stretching and having a positive mind set, and I hope others who have this condition will compare my suggestions with others who have similar, results, building up the immune system I believe, is the key to returning to good health.

Replied by Carol
(Old Lyme, Ct)

I have just been diagnosed with PMR after suffering with horrible pain and barely able to walk, lift my arms, swollen hand and feet, couldn't dress myself. I saw 6 specialists in 2-1/2 months and the hand specialist "cracked the case! " My left hand was double in sisev and he put me on 20 mg of prednisone which I took it for 7 days decreasing the amount down to one on the last day. He also ordered sed rate test and that showed that my body was totally inflamed. The prednisone was like a miracle - I was able to walk and go up and down the stairs after taking two pills! Hand back to normal on second day. But pains came back as soon as. Was done. I then went to my rheumatologist who has me on 9 mg a day.

Judy, I agree with what you are doing - the supplements you are taking and foods you are eating. I have taken many of these supplements but need to buy a good B complex. I will be going to a naturepathic Doctor in two weeks to see what she recommends. I am trying to avoid inflammatory foods - no citrus, coffee, sugar, nightshade veggies, deli meats. Not sure about dairy but NP will advise me.

I have been so healthy and getting sick out of nowhere threw me for a loop. I just heard from my doctor and all tests he did for other diseases came back negative!!

I'm so happy to find this message board and thank you and everyone on it for their suggestions. 😊

Replied by Joyce
(Emigrant, Mt.)

Really relate to your comment. I have been in pain for 2 months, but diagnosed myself with pmr after studying symptom lists online, and await appt with Rheumatologist. They are so busy with people with these symptoms it's sometimes months to get to see them! Reg. Md just shrugged and didn't know what was wrong after blood screen. A nurse whispered that the symptom sufferers are in huge numbers locally.

I have researched sites to see how people treat and kept finding the dreaded "Pred." Tempting to relieve my intense pain, but nope, not for me. I appreciate your taking the time to contribute your alternative success tools. I will get my "diagnosis" but will diligently begin alternative treatments. It's exciting really to learn to take responsibility for my health. Grateful that nature provides so many answers.

Replied by Jerry

I have the flares for past three years...hip...shoulder..opposite head lobe and foot pain swellind......I just had flu shot and have three in last two months since ...started on prednisone till I am formally diagnosed with pmr.

Replied by Nancy
(Chadds Ford, Pa)

Carol, just read your info re PMR. Written on my birthday :)....I was diagnosed 1/2016 w/PMR...urgent care dr put me on 20 mg Prednisone immediately and by that afternoon I was able to move around normally! Prior to visit movement was getting so bad I could not get out of bed unless I swiveled around on back and rolled over to stand. Finally saw rheum dr and has been weaning me of prednisone since Jan 2016. I have finished w/prednisone and see dr in 1.5 mo. Not satisfied with how I feel daily....hand sometimes swells at knuckles and 2 mid fingers. Although, when this all happened they told me I had carpal tunnel in both hands. Would like to find a more long lasting treatment w/o drugs! Thank you for your info.

Replied by Emily

I am pleased to know that you can wean yourself off Prednisone. I was diagnosed last October and started off with 20mg of Prednisone and now down to 5mg, ie close to 6 months. I have a relapse at the moment, as this 5mg doesn't seem to help on some days. However, I think when I next visit the rheumatologist in the next couple of weeks, she would probably increase the dosage.

I am very interested in natural remedy and would like to know how long did you take the Prednisone for before going on to natural remedy and diet. Did you go the naturalpath?


Replied by Linda
(Greenville, Maine)

Good luck with your Mom. I miss mine everyday. She had giant cell, but was diagnosed for poly and given prednisone. She lost her sight, had a stoke etc. She was drastically fatigued. The doc said her time was up and put her in holistic care, the holistic nurse slapped on the phentenol (spelling?) patches and killed her as she was not aware enough to eat or drink ( I think she died of thirst and it haunts me everyday, wondering if in her drugged state she was looking for water every minute - there is not enough therapy for me to ever get over this). I would like to sue the medical industry, they REALLY do kill the elderly. I wish everyday I had researched the poly and the giant cell and not relied on the docs. My father broke his hip and due to his terrible fear and anxiety in the hospital was temporarily demented and they advised us of PALiTIVE care - which is death thru increasing doses of morphine. I know now if I had just taken him home and his mind would have calmed down and he would have survived. I hate the docs and they killed my parents and I listened to them and I know that if I am ever in their care, they will kill me to) so protect your Mom thru much research and I hope she will die a natural death when it is really her time.

Replied by Timh
2063 posts

Linda: I lost my nephew last yr to the most dereliction of duties of any oncologist I have ever witnessed or know of. LJoey was a special person with passions & dreams left to not be fulfilled in this earth-time.

A close historical analysis shows exactly how his illness was financially very profitable for big business and a total loss on the family end. Of course this is just an example of the power of the disease care industry today. A very successful business model.

Replied by Liz Z.
(Michigan, Usa)

My experience is like many others here. Probable diagnosis based on high sed rate and c-reactive protein. I was told the real proof of diagnosis would be a trial of prednisone. I am rejecting taking that med at present due to side effects. My confusion comes from nightshade plants, some say yes others definitely no. I am under care of functional medicine doctor who has ok'd them in my diet. Does everyone on this list eliminate nightshades and where can I find more info on this?


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Posted by Reinette (Johannesburg, South Africa) on 07/06/2012

Dear PMR friends, I was diagnosed 1 year ago, my Dr. put me on Predisone and is weaning me off it, I take Vit B as well as cod liver oil capsules, no pain killers but I do take ALKALINE POWDER at night. As an alkaline it works 100 percent, it works for me, get better soon my friends.

Apple Cider Vinegar

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Posted by Kay (Ft. Myers, Florida, Usa) on 07/13/2012

I was on steroids over a year & a half.. Finally weaned myself off steroids. Five days later I was in horrific pain & stiffness again for 2 weeks. Then I found your website and read about apple cider vinegar. I began to drink it every morning. Must be raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar "with the mother. " After 2 days of drinking this every morning... Like a miracle... No pain! I am on my 5th day of drinking it and feeling better every day! I take 2 teaspoons of vinegar in 8 oz. of water. I am so grateful that I found your website.

Replied by Civano
(Seattle, Wa)

Was having trouble weaning off of Prednisone until I started drinking a glass of water with 1 Tbs of ACV each morning. I have cut the Prednisone from 30mg per day to 5 with no pain so far.

Replied by Nancie
(Escondido, Ca Usa)

How much apple cider vinegar do I take and how often for Polymyalgia Rheumatica?

Replied by Civano
(Seattle, WA)

I take 1 Tablespoon of ACV in a large glass of water in the morning and again around 3 PM every day for Polymyalgia Rheumatica.

Replied by Elke
(Portland, Or)

Amazing that this would work. I will give it a try.

Replied by Sheila
(Minneapolis, Mn)

Thank you for this information. I will definitely try it also. After the Flu Shot...Polymyalgia Rheumatica symptoms starting occurring a few weeks later and I'm on prednisone but want to find something else that would help. The pain is returning after a month.

Apple Cider Vinegar, B Complex

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Posted by Debbie (Glennville, Ga) on 05/09/2012

It took 8 dr's before I was diagnosed with PMR. I had to search it up for myself. someone mentioned that condition. i then went to the mayo clinic. a blood test call sed rate & crp will show the inflammation in your body... i was on prednisone for about a year. now i am better, but i can sure predict the weather, my buttock tells me so... i take a b complex vitamin a couple times a week, & tbsp of apple cider vinegar (natural with the mother) not pasteurized, in a glass of water to neutralize the acidity the prednisone caused. so far so good.. hope this helps someone a little.

Replied by Gb08
(La Porte, Tx, Usa)

Are u off Preds for good? Are you still having systoms. I was dignosed with PMR in March. Preds make me feel great, but worried about long term. I am a 60 year old coach and teacher with the dept of defense, live in Portugal and just don't understand this. Hope you off Preds and can give me some advice. Thanks for any help...

Replied by Wife of Wayne
(Hawley, Minn.)

I read about taking apple cider vinegar but where does one buy it since it has to be raw?? My husband, Wayne has PMR and is on predisone and has for about 15 months now...he has days where he is so sore, stiff and tired and I feel so sorry for him... he is concerned about going off prednisone as when he gets down to about 15 or less it really acts up.. now he is taking another med along with the prednisone which is to help weine him from the pred...any other suggestions for my dear husband... he has thought about homapatic (spelling ??) therapy... what do you think?? does insurance cover that?? thanks... will be waiting to hear... the wife of Wayne

Replied by Marylee
(Seattle, Wa)

Hi Wife of Wayne,

can't answer your questions about homeopathics and insurance, but you can buy raw and organic Apple Cider Vinegar at most grocery store since it's become so popular. You can also find it online. Whole Foods has several raw and organic Apple Cider Vinegar "with the mother" brands. Trader Joe's carries it. Regular old grocery stores also carry the brand "Bragg", but it's more expensive now than the other brands which are just are good. I've tested them all! Good luck.

Replied by Rsw
(Uniontown, Oh)

To Wayne's wife,

Just FYI, it is not uncommon for people who are on a statin drug to develop Polymyagria Rheumatica. I don't know if Wayne is on this medication or not, but if so, it might be something to think about. Best wishes!

Replied by Kim
(Tilbury, Ontario)

My mother-in-law has been on statin drugs for 20 years and developed PMR about 2 1/2 years ago. She also gets the flu shot. She is on a steroid, but wants to get off because it is not working. After reading thousands of blogs and web-sites, I think she needs to fix her diet and vitamin regimen before she gets off the drugs. Are you still on statin drugs?

Replied by Rsw

Hi Kim,

My Mother was on statin drugs and developed PMR. She always trusted doctors and would not get off the statin. For many years, she had to have someone fix her hair and clean her condo, change her bedding, etc because the pain in her shoulders was so great. (She lived in FL, away from her family). She took prednisone for years to be able to get around. When I was put on statins (before I wised up and became educated), I developed Lichen Planus, a sickening little autoimmune disease that has been linked to stain drugs, also. I had never even heard of it. Apparently the statins can do DNA damage that appears to be irreversible for some, at this point in time. I now also have Sjogren's autoimmune. Read up on the damage that lowering your cholesterol can do to the body and mind, especially in people's over 60, and compare the 20-30% permanently harmed with the feeble 1% less risk of having a heart attack over many years, and try to figure out why anyone would put them in their bodies, except that they are the biggest money maker for Big Pharm. The "Spacedoc" site documents Dr. Duane Graveline's deterioration from excellent health from taking low dose statins only for two short periods of time, to his death which he accurately predicted based on his studies. He was not only an MD but an astronaut and had written many books about the dangers of statins, as he researched the consequences. His site documents research from many prominent doctors and researchers on statin risks and small benefits.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Curcumin

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Posted by George (Burnaby, Bc) on 01/10/2018

Polymyalgia Rheumatica - Thanks for this very useful blog! Can anyone tell me about possible lowering of CRP blood levels thru use of curcumin and AC vinegar? These 2 have kept me away from use of prednisone quite effectively, but the CRP level question is one I'd like to answer without more medical appointments if possible. I'll look further thru the entries here in case it has been disclosed.

Replied by Dave
(Wichita, Ks)

I'm curious have you ever looked at your dietary history and possible links to food intake and inflammation GMOs preservatives denatured Foods Etc if it were me I would look into the possibilities of kale and beet juice to help with your inflammation along with your tumeric and ACV.. just some ideas... hope this helps


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Posted by Albert (British Columbia) on 06/12/2015

I was diagnosed with PMR last year. It was tolerable for a time but then I started getting stiffness in my legs and severe pains in my hips. A couple of months ago, I started taking Ashwagandha (ayurvedic cure for ailing memory) pills to aid my memory, four days later I was pain free and it's basically been that way for two months.

Replied by Buddy Ortega
(Woody Creek Co)

Where do you get ashwaganda? It sounds like it might work for PMR.

EC: Hello,


Replied by Buddy
(Woody Creek, Co)

Can I start taking herbal supplements while on prednisone? I have been on pred. for 1.5 mo. 20mg a day.

Replied by Megams
(Auckland Nz)

I am new to this site, but prior to my PMR diagnosis 19 + months ago I was a regular user of Ashwagandha, a wonderful soothing adrendal herb used to assist with day to day stress.

Since being on steroids, Ashwagandha is not recommended due to there being contra-indications to that of the effectiveness of the steroid.

Eventually I will return to this wonderful herb once I cease needing the steroid.

Ayurvedic Byna

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Posted by Robert Seals (Santa Cruz, Ca) on 05/09/2014

I have found a ayurvedic med from India that completely relieves PMR symptoms it is called BYNA. The ingredients check out as herbal but it acts like a steroid, I am looking for a lab to check it out. This med could be a miracle, Robert

Replied by Susan

I just read your comments about BYNA, have you discovered anything more about this. I have PMR and have tried just about everything.

Chinese Herbs

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Posted by Linda (Jacksonville, Fl) on 10/28/2014

I was diagnosed with Polymyalgia Rheumatica in June and not wanting to take the normal 2 yrs of steroids I went looking for more natural remedies. I couldn't fine any ayarvedic specialist in the area so I tried Chinese herbalist. TaDa, she gave me a tea with many anti inflammatory properties and I noticed a difference within 24 hrs. I was pretty much immobile and week by week I gain more movement. My joints still hurt but I feel that with time this will be repaired also. I hope those of you with PMR will find this encouraging for your future.

Replied by Sandhya
(Maui, Hawaii)

My friend has Polymyalgia Rheumatica and the statins are awful yet the pain was much better. Her immune system went way down. She tried Chinese herbs but the ones she received weren't working. Could you put down the herbal formula for everyone please? How much is you pain on a 1 to 10 scale with 1 being the lowest? Thank you for sharing.

Replied by Linda
(Jacksonville, Fl)

I haven't looked on this feed for a few months. I have been seeing a Chinese Accupunturist (sp) that practices Chinese herbs and it has worked wonders on my PMR. After about 3 months on the tea she gave me I am pain free. Each week some symptom improved until I could move freely.I still have PMR but the symptoms are so mild.

Replied by Linda
(Jacksonville, Fl)

Regarding Chinese Herbalist and your friend with Polymyalgia Rheumatica. She should not give up looking for good results. If she is not getting good results, she should go back to the herbalist and let her know it is not working or look for another in her area. I hope this helps

Replied by Helen


Hello all

I was just doing some research for a good freind who has been diagnosed Polymyalgia to see if I could find any alternative meds - I always look in that direction myself.

Word of caution however on the Chinese Herbal medicine - I tried it for a kidney problem I have - it was a few years ago now - it tasted vile but it did make me feel much better so I didn't mind. What I didn't know is that one of the herbs was a natural steroid and that was what was making me feel great but it was also covering up what turned into a very nasty kidney infection so please be careful.


Replied by Dia

This would be a lot more encouraging and informative if Linda would have shared what the tea was made of / a name for it, etc. Without identifying it the info is almost useless.

Replied by Henry

Hi Dia and everyone interested in the herbal treatment mentioned above. I am an acupuncturist and herbalist. I am treating a patient with PMR now. The way Chinese herbal formulas work is that it's different for everyone, even if the disease is the same. An East Asian practitioner will look at why this disease happened for you specifically and what other symptoms beyond the PMR may be present and contributing to the lack of healing. Chinese herbs can be powerful and, if used improperly, have serious side effects. Always consult a trained professional.

Flu Vaccines and Polymyalgia Rheumatica

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Posted by Neralie (Toowoomba, Australia) on 05/28/2013

I have had PMR for just over two years and it is slowly starting to ease off at long last. I now take 3 and 2.5 mg Prednisone alternately. It is harder to lower the dose as it gets down because you have to do it so slowly. I developed my symptoms two days after my flu vaccine. My doctor thinks the vaccine is definitely the culprit and says I am never to have another vaccine. I also take Rehmannia Complex, a herbal tablet that has definitely helped, but other than that, you just have to be patient. There is some great information on PMR on the site that has helped me.

Replied by Sela
(Covington, La)

I can't explain how relieved I am to find out I'm not the only PMR "victim" and that I'm also not the only one on the miracle drug prednisone. I hate this drug but I love it. I was diagnosed recently while in the hospital for pneumonia. I have been ill for two years and had no clue why. I'm 49 and have read that's extremely young to get this. The pain was so bad I cried. Was on narcotic pain meds for a YEAR until I was put in the hospital for pneumonia last march and was put on preds 40 mg. I recently started to get off them myself because the doctor would never take me off unless I spent 280 dollars to come see him and take a pulmonary function test, something I did not have the money for. I have read that the addeno (sp?) virus can sometimes cause PMR but there's that pesky question now popping up in my mind about the flu shot I had last year. Hmm. Anyway, thanks so much all of you. I now have some paths to try.

Replied by Melody

I read your article and was very interested in your comments. My mother suffers from polymyalgia and she said the symptoms related from a flu injection. Please contact me 33710793 Brisbane.

Replied by Sheila
(Minneapolis, Mn)

I was diagnosed with Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR) a month after I had the Flu Shot. My doctor said that is not the cause of it, but I'm pretty sure it was. I've never had any of the symptoms until after the shot. What didn't make sense is I'm 40 and that's very rare to have it so the doc was leary about diagnosing it PMR but all my symptoms led to the conclusion. The pain got so bad where I couldn't get out of bed, couldn't sit on and off the toilet and I could barely walk. I have never heard of this sickness and now that I've seen and read that so many other people have them makes me feel better for the support but also scared about side effects due to me being on Prednisone. It seemed to be the only thing that helped with my pain and now I'm weening off it with a stronger ibuprofen. I've been ok for about a month now but it seems the pain is returning. I'm trying everything as far as eating healthier yet it seems to still be flaring up. Thanks everyone for all the suggestions of drinks and proper vitamin intakes. I'll try those.

Replied by Lyn


In addition to the flu vaccine, beware of bone density drugs. My PMR began following the start of my taking Actonel. I had such a severe reaction to Actonel, my doctor took me off that and started me on Boniva, which had even more severe side effects than Actonel. I then stopped Boniva, but the symptoms continued and worsened. Finally I was diagnosed with PMR. Like you, the only thing that worked for me was prednisone. I had to take it for almost 5 years, as the PMR returned without it.

Beware of the bone density drugs, as they have other serious side effects as well. My doctor says that although they may make bones denser, they also can make them more brittle and easier to break.

Replied by Peggy

Yes, I came down with PMR (or so they think) one week after getting a Prolia injection. I went from excellent health to almost disabled by joint and muscle pain. I refused to go on Prednisone. I will be trying the suggestions from this site.


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Posted by Helen (Canada) on 10/06/2013

Polymyalgia: Hello, I had PMR, and got rid of it.

My DNA is from Northern European stock. In 2007 I started losing weight, was in extreme pain, couldn't sleep and was diagnosed with rheumatic. My blood specialist wanted me to take prednisone for 2 years, I took it for about one month saw a hurbalist who said she could get me walking I lived on pain killers, boiled roots and bark herbs and had acupuncture for the pain. Still no avail. Someone mentioned garlic and I remembered that my mother used a lot of raw garlic. A clerk at a health store helped me find out how much organic odorless garlic my body weight could tolerate. Nine months later my blood specialist said I didn't have to come back and I that garlic was wonderful.

It has been 6 years and I am still PMR free.

Replied by Judy
(Timberlea, Nova Scotia)

Hi Helen, I have had PMR for 3 years. Trying to get off predisone. I'm down to 1 mg. I'm doing leg and arm exercises now. Unfortunately getting bad pain in both arms. Have y expierenced anything like that?

Replied by Mmsg
(Somewhere, Europe)

Judy, do the exercises UP to the pain, not INTO the pain.

Replied by Joe
(Myrtle Beach)

Can anyone tell me how much garlic per day? I will estimate a bit more, as I am 190 pounds! Thanks.

Glutathione Accelator

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Posted by Hilda (Airdrie, Alberta/canada) on 07/23/2012

I have had PMR for a year and half now and was offered Prednizone which I refused. However I have been coping by using a glutathione accelerator which is an anti-inflammatory that gets to the cellular level. A doctor told me that he is amazed that I am not taking Prednizone!


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Posted by Territ (Va) on 05/20/2018

My Dad suffers from PNR and literally could not get out of the chair. He began taking MSM (organic sulfur crystals) 1 tsp of the crystals in a little liquid TWICE a day. Bought them on Amazon.

He couldn't get out of his chair...joints hurt him that bad but he is now regularly walking down to the chicken coop. The sulfur worked pretty quick...I think he really felt the results in his joints within a week. He added the other thing later so they at this point may be working in conjunction.

Multiple Remedies

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Posted by Martin (Kansas) on 02/06/2023

I developed polymyalgia rheumatica in 2020. I live in a small town. My doctor had almost never seen this. He had three cases in one week. This got me thinking what was everyone doing differently. With covid, many people upped their vit d supplement. I had this for nine months. Luckily I had a vit d test in late November, it was a 78. I first developed this in the middle of july. I was getting a lot of sun then. I was taking a lot of other supplements too. I'm guessing that my vit d level was over 100 in July. Too much vit d can lead to absorbing too much calcium. After a while, all this calcium in our tissues causes our immune system to attack it. I did have gout with this, during this brief time, my shoulder pain went completely away. I did have a shoulder xray that showed some calcium deposit.

So I think as we sleep we dehydrate just a little and the tendons calcify, then our bodies attack this. I also read one article talking about interluekin 6 being high. I believe one of the reasons prednisone worked was by causing you to piss calcium out, the white cloud in the toilet, but the bottle says to take milk with it. I'm not telling you not to take milk, because there are long term side effects of long time steroid use. hip replacement, cataracts. It takes months to get rid of high vit d levels. I tried serrapeptase, it worked great, but after two days I had side effects. It eats scar tissue. I had had a hernia repair a year ago and have a bad knee with scar tissue inside apparently, they both started hurting after just two days use. I stopped it and the hernia fills fine now, but if you dont have any previous injuries or surgeries it might help you.

So what worked for me. No vit d, No multivitamins, limited sunlight, no eggs.

I took magnesium malate following label. Drink apple juice, malic acid in it. Eat bananas. I took a potassium pill a day. I also had a a half teaspoon of alfalfa. I took DHEA as it will help with making hormones that get downregulated with the prednisone as you wean off. I took chanca piedra for a while. I used some CBD in drops and in a oil rub for the shoulders, I also sometimes used a product called Lymphocare by Baar for massage, it has some peanut oil in it. I took epsom salt hot baths. Fasting helped clear some calcium but increased macrophages, so didn't help too much. Exercise if you can, start small, do shoulder exercises and walk. Get a vit d test to see if that could be the culprit. I believe some other supplements can increase calcium absorption also, I had been taking multiple. I also took fish oil up to three grams, it helped a little. I believe low dose naltrexone would work, but my doctor refused.

I always take a small amount of anything new to my body to see how I handle it first to avoid any emergency room visits, have not had any but have been close. Everyone is different and may be on medications that react badly to some supplements. I am a male and weigh 250 this would affect all dose sizes to others also.

Also, look up interleukin 6 reducing foods and follow those diets. I know your pain. You can get better. It will take time. Winter is your friend, less sunlight. Mine is completely gone today. It lasted 9 months. I may be wrong, but this is what may have worked for me. Even some probiotics can change some interleukins. My tendons got so stiff in my shoulders first, then my legs, and then my chest, where my chest popped frequently.

Replied by Linda

It is recommended in all my research to take vitamin K2 with D3 to prevent the calcium issue.

Replied by Jez
(Pacific Northwest)

It is vital to take K2, the MK7, version everyday. This prevents vitamin d from settling calcium in your arteries and in your tissues. I wouldn't stop Vit D unless you know your levels are healthy. But K2, Vit D are vital to prevent cardiac calcium buildup. Dr. Pradip Jamnadas, MD, has an excellent video presentation about it on Youtube. Take Care!!

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