Helping hand for those who live with pain

Ann Chambers, founder of The PMR/GCA North West Support Group
Ann Chambers, founder of The PMR/GCA North West Support Group

Wiganers with two debilitating pain conditions are being urged not to suffer in silence by a support group.

People living with Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR) and Giant Cell Arteritis (GCA) are being reminded that help is at hand courtesy of the Leigh-based group.

PMR causes unbearable pain, stiffness and inflammation in the muscles around the shoulders, neck and hips while GCA inflames arteries and blood vessels.

Both mostly affect people over 50, with women particularly at risk, and GCA can cause permanent blindness if not diagnosed and treated.

The PMR/GCA North West Support Group was set up by Leigh resident Ann Chambers in 2013 after she struggled to access support and information following her mum’s diagnosis with PMR.

She now has people travelling to the borough from as far afield as North Wales and Carlisle to the meetings.

Ann (pictured)said: “Despite the fact that PMR is one of the most common inflammatory diseases affecting older people, most people have never heard of it or GCA.

“It took six months of pain and distress for my mum, and our whole family, before she finally received the right diagnosis and the treatment she so desperately needed.

“There were times when she was so ill that I honestly thought she wouldn’t be with us much longer. Once she was diagnosed and treated with a high dose of intravenous steroids the change was incredible.”

n The next meeting is at 1pm on March 14 at the Greyhound Hotel on Warrington Road in Leigh. Details from Ann on 01942 895 806 or email northwest@pmrgcasupport.co.uk