Lifestyle and home remedies
Once you start taking medication for polymyalgia rheumatica, your pain and stiffness should greatly improve. In addition, the suggestions below also can help:
Exercise regularly. Exercise can reduce the pain of polymyalgia rheumatica and improve your overall sense of well-being. It can also help prevent weight gain, a common side effect of taking corticosteroids. Emphasize low-impact exercises such as swimming, walking and riding a stationary bicycle. Moderate stretching also is important for keeping your muscles and joints flexible.
If you're not used to exercising, start out slowly and build up gradually, aiming for at least 30 minutes on most days. Your doctor can help you plan an exercise program that's right for you.
Eat a healthy diet. Eating well can help prevent potential problems such as thinning bones, high blood pressure and diabetes. Good nutrition can also support your immune system. Emphasize fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats and fish, while limiting salt, sugar and alcohol.
Get adequate amounts of bone-building nutrients — calcium and vitamin D. If you find it hard to get calcium from your diet because you can't eat dairy products, for example, try calcium supplements. Experts recommend 1,200 milligrams of calcium and 800 international units (IU) of vitamin D a day.
- Pace yourself. Try to alternate strenuous or repetitive tasks with easier ones to prevent straining painful muscles. Use luggage and grocery carts, reaching aids, and shower grab bars to help make daily tasks easier.