Leg Cramps | Arthritis Information


Hello all and hope you are doing the best possible. I have a question regarding my latest problem. My pmr was diagnosted in April and I have been slowly reducing from 60mg to now at 23 mg doing the 20/3. My Pmr has been under control with what I would consider minimal problems.

Now last week I headed out on a flight across the country and to a car show with a lot of walking. The second day my legs started cramping up to the point I could not walk. Now when I say cramping I mean my calfs,thighs,hips,and ankles. All at once. Sitting down is the only relief and it takes awhile. Once I get relief, then I can go walk for about 5 minutes and I am right back were I was. I upped my pred and tried pain and musceles relaxers with minimal help. I had to resort to a wheelchair to get home.
The only other clue is that my vitamin D level is in the garbage and my doc just yesterday started me on a 50,000 vitamin pill. Has anyone else had this much pain with low vitamin D levels.

One idea the doc had was that it was the perfect storm, PMR,Pred reduces the calicum, hot weather and pred make you sweat, over doing it at car show, and already low vitamin D and Calicum levels.
I guess I am grabing at straws trying to fix the problem, any help is appreciated.


I am not into drugs so i can't reccomend any. But I would try a magnessium supplement. Try

Calm by Peter Gilham. You just add it to hot water. It is pretty cheap and certainly worth a try. I was having back cramps and this helped. Also I had some  muscle twitching and it helped that also.
Here is a folk remedy -

Pickle juice As with mustard coaches have given pickle juice to their athletes with leg cramps. Cramps are sometimes caused by a deficiency in acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter that stimulates your muscles to work. Pickle juice has acetic acid, which helps the body make more acetylcholine. Take a few ounces of pickle juice.

I always try stuff like this before adding drugs to my already depleted body. I used to get RLS (restless legs) at night so bad but after researching on the internet i kept seeing that it might be a mineral deficiancy especially iron. I  remembered that it is common for pmr folks to have low grade anemia so i checked my multi vitamin and sure enough - no iron.  I switched right away to one with iron and the RLS stopped very quickly.
Also, check the new copy of Arthritis Today magazine. There is a good article on supplements and the research done and how to take it. Included is Omega 3 fish oil and pycnogenol among others. One key thing is it says to give pycnogenol (and all natural remedies like this) at least 2 months to work. And take with food. I saw on FoX Sunday Housecall with Dr. Rosenfeld that he reccomended it and he takes 250 mg everyday. You could give these things a try. Vitamin shoppe online has some good deals on supplements.
For muscle cramps - try this..........
  • Calcium: 1,200 mg. at bedtime, if no results, you can discontinue but be sure that you are getting 1,200 mg, of calcium daily through diet and/or other supplements. For pregnant women: Check with your doctor before beginning supplementation,
  • Vitamin E: 400 I.U. twice a day after meals for two weeks. If symptoms are relieved, cut down to 400 I.U. once a day, If symptoms recur, up the dosage until symptoms are relieved but never take more than 1,200 I.U. daily,
  • Magnesium: 400 mg. daffy.
  • Vitamin A: 10,000 I.U. daily.
  • Potassium: 100 mg./daily,
Good luck...!
oops - i meant that Dr. Rosenfeld takes 150 mg every day. I believe that he said he takes it for knee pain. I take 200 mg every day after reading a german research study on the benefits of lowering inflammation....sorry about that.Hello all and I thought I would post a follow-up to my original question. This only goes to show how careful we must be in self diagnosising our symptoms. It turns out that even though my symptoms were very similar to PMR what I really had was a bulging disc in my back that was pushing on the spinal cord. This is why both my legs and lower area were effected. The danger I see is, the prednisone can be a great for any imflamation including PMR you may have, but also, it can hide the real problem. Once my doc got the mri and found the real problem, we dropped my pred back down fairly fast and it is now back at 15mg with a every 2 week 1mg drop. The good news is my PMR is back in check, but the bad news is I am looking at some minor back surgery in the near future.
Just to make my point one more time. When you are on a prednisone taper and you get some of the PMR symptoms coming back, be a little cautious that something else hasn't popped up unrelated to the PMR. In my case I upped my pred back up to 60 for no good reason. And we all know the big goal is to get off the pred as fast as possible.

Sorry to go on and on

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