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Polymyalgia Rheumatica

In individuals who have crossed fifty years of age connective tissues in the body may become affected by a rare rheumatic disease called polymyalgia rheumatica, which can bring on various signs of aches and pains in the body. The discomfort and the pain are the greatest in the morning from the disease and the distress is in the muscles in the neck, those of the shoulders, the lower back and the hip, these areas are very susceptible to the disease, becoming stiff with severe aches and pain. The disease leaves the muscles fatigued and weak. Symptoms such as the pain and stiffness can become intense when the muscles are overexerted during exercise and any severe strain. The complaints may include symptoms such as fever, the onset of weight loss and anemia in the individual especially if the disease is of a severe form. The affected individual may become easily exhausted and tiredness could become a persistent symptom. The onset of symptoms is often abrupt in the affected individual and the symptoms may moreover suddenly go away for several months only to come back suddenly. The various symptoms of the disease can persist in certain individuals for durations that can run into years in during which the symptoms keep recurring.

Other rheumatic disorders such as arthritis are related to this disease as the name suggest, similar to other kinds of illness, this disorder also causes the appearance of general fatigue, sore muscles and stiffness in the individual. An inflammation in the blood vessels supplying the affected muscles is possibly linked to the rise of polymyalgia rheumatica in the muscular tissues. In certain conditions polymyalgia rheumatica can also come about in several individuals because of the deficiency or the imbalance of mineral substances.

Supplements and herbs

To manufacture anti-inflammatory compounds in the body called prostaglandin's requires the presence of essential fatty acids as supplements in the diet. The diet should be rich in oils that contain abundant quantities of the essential fatty acids such as the oil of the evening primrose herb. To bolster the performance of the bloods vessels and to fight against inflamed tissues, the vitamin C should be supplemented in combination with the natural plant based substances called the bioflavonoids. Muscular strength and flexibility is promoted by supplements of the vitamin E, which also greatly enhances the circulation system. To combat prolonged instances of rheumatism vitamin E is an excellent supplement in the diet. Energy and stamina are vastly enhanced through the use of bee products such as royal jelly and bee pollen and these should be included in the diet.

The first steps to restore normalcy similar to the treatment of other rheumatic diseases, is through a detoxification of the body, the metabolic processes also need to be stimulated in turn for optimal recovery, all supplements should aim for these goals.

Rheumatic disorders can be cured through the use of the root of the devil's claw, which has natural anti-inflammatory properties when used as an herbal supplement. The pain and the inflammation accompanying conditions like polymyalgia can be greatly minimized using this herbal-based treatment. Dosages should include about three tablets of the extract of the devils claw or if preferred a cup of water can be used to simmer a tsp. of devil's claw root for fifteen minutes and this can then be drunk as an herbal tea. For duration of four weeks drink this tea three times every day. Do this again after having a break or rest period of two weeks, in between dosages. The pain in the affected regions of the body can also be greatly minimized through the application of crushed root pulp of the comfrey herb as a topical treatment. Use the comfrey in bath water and take a twenty-minute bath each week as a further external treatment. The bath water can be prepared by a twelve-hour immersion of a pound of finely chopped root of the comfrey herb using 5 qt. of cold water. The resulting liquid can be strained after it has been warmed, this liquid can then be added to bath water for the weekly session. The area of the chest of the patient's cannot be immersed in the water and should be dry during the bath. Perspiration for at least an hour is an important as a step after the bath and the patient must not dry the body immediately, a thick cotton-terry robe can be used to induce the sweating. The ability to relax muscular tissue and a sedative function are some of the properties of the herbs like the passion flower, the hops and the valerian herb, these can be used in combination treatments. By adding a cup of boiling water to a tbsp. of a single herb or a combination of these herbs an herbal tea can be prepared for the patient. This herbal tea can be used before the patient goes to bed to relax him or her and to induce sleep. A very useful and natural anti depressant property is one of the hallmarks of the St. John's wort herb and this herb can be used in this role. Pain in the nerves can be reduced and alleviated by this herb and it has the added benefit of promoting the manufacture of the hormones of the adrenal gland. Dosages of the herb can be a single of herbal oil thrice a day; alternately this oil can be rubbed on the affected region as a topical sedative and as an external pain reliever. For about ten minutes steep a tsp. of dried borage leaves and blossoms in a cup of boiling water to make a tea, strain the resulting liquid and drink this herbal tea in the mornings to reduce the pain due to rheumatic conditions. Fifteen minutes before every big meal, use some water to aid you in drinking at least two tbsp. of birch juice as a daily treatment. Follow this up with a dosage of two tbsp. of dandelion juice thrice a day in the next week. In the following week drink two tbsp. of the juice of the stinging nettle herb, thrice a day as a rotating and combination treatment against rheumatic pain. An herbal combination of the juniper herb, the rosemary herb, the hayseed or the mustard and the fern can be used to prepare an herbal bath for topical relief from pain.

Additional things you may do

Complete recovery and rehabilitation form the condition is greatly aided by reducing the amount of stress on a daily basis, choosing careful diets and nutrient supplements and undertaking moderate aerobic exercises regularly. All stress reduction and minimization procedures have the technique of deep breathing as their basis. Some steps that are important to deep breathing exercises are relaxed and deep inhalations, which make full and expansive use of the entire chest cavity stretching the muscles in the diaphragm to their fullest extent. A gentle massage to the muscular and lymphatic system enhances the detoxification of the muscular and other body tissues. The relaxation of the muscular tissues and an increased circulation can be achieved through the application of gentle to strong heat on to the painful and affected regions of the body. A cotton cloth that contains heated coarse salt can be applied externally as a warm compress of the affected region in cases of undefined and unidentified rheumatic pains. Warm clothing is essential and beneficial to the body. Avoids cold drafts and cold rooms and utilize loose and comfortable shoes that do not pinch and the socks that are worn must be made form natural fibers. A copper bracelet is used by some people as a traditional method of warding off the rheumatic pain. The essential mineral copper can stimulate the liver to synthesize super oxide dismutase (SOD), which is a powerful antioxidant, it might be possible that the copper penetrates the skin and has an anti-inflammatory effect on the affected regions.

Usual dosage

  • Evening primrose oil, two 500 mg capsules thrice a day or a combination oil, one tee spoon a day
  • Vitamin E (with tocopherols) 400 IU
  • Vitamin C (with bioflavonoids) 1,000 mg
  • Bee pollen three tea spoons
  • Royal jelly three tea spoons

Comments

From Barb - Jan-14-2012
I came down with polymyalgia rheumatica six months ago. I did not want to take prednisone as recommended by the doctor. I have followed most of the suggestions on this page and others, including devil's claw, bee pollen, mussel extract, iron supplementation, vitamin C, B12, E, magnesium, zinc. Over the last 6 months, I have changed a (quite healthy) diet to one that is largely vegan and includes much raw food. I depended on Iboprophen to control the stiffness and pain. I took two 200mg pills a day (always with food and a large glass of water), one in the morning and one in the evening. I don't think I could have handled the pain for the first 4 months without Iboprophen. It took me two months to begin to be able to do anything but the most basic tasks.
I am now at the stage of recovering my strength, doing gentle exercises and yoga. The pain and stiffness have been gone for about a month. Prednisone is a quick fix, but it has many side effects. My approach was not a quick fix, but I am glad that I took the natural way. I am 64 years old, and feel really well today! Good luck!
From Norman Taylor - Apr-06-2011
I was diagnosed as having PR after a two week long distance single handed sailing trip. I was unable to move my hips before treatment. Initial diagnosis was unclear but once PR was thought to be the likely cause I was put on a high dose of steroids (40MG per day), all symptoms seemed to clear up overnight. It has taken six months to get off the weekly reducing dose of steroids but I seem to have made a full recovery now.
From Joan - Jan-18-2011
I developed polymyalgia following a gastric upset followed by a viral infection, shortly after which I went on to have a pneumonia vaccination. I believe the combination of these three things triggered the polymyalgia. At one time I could not get up the stairs to go to bed. I have managed to avoid having steroids and try to help myself by eating a good diet supplemented by one/two 200mg iron tablets, a good multivitamin, fish oils and a glucosamine supplement and keeping to a gluten free diet. I find the iron really helps me and if I neglect to take it my pain returns with a vengeance. I have now had polymyalgia for nearly a year and am 67 years.
From Yvonne Eddy - 2010
Bowen therapy seems to assist people with polymyalgia. A holistic Bowen therapy restores balance via the autonomic nervous system. Some procedures activate draining of the lymphatic system, stimulating the immune system.
From Michael Kendall - 2010
I had polymyalgia for about 12 months. It came about, I believe, after I had been infected with a mosquito-borne virus, Barmah Forrest virus. I tried every modality, including religious healing ceremonies at St Andrew's Church. Finally I found almost total cure from a homoeopath who prescribed Nat Mur 1M. Occasionally, I need to take a dose or two of Nat Mur 1M, but otherwise all symptoms have left me and I am endeavouring to rebuild muscle which had badly atrophied over the period as exercise was impossible without pain. It virtually saved my life as all medical treatment could offer was analgesics and anti-inflammatories, but also told me that there was no cure and it could last a very long time. I hope this will help someone to overcome a terrible condition.
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