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Myositis Symptoms and Possible Treatment



The meaning of myositis is very simple. It is a group of conditions causing muscle weakness, pain and inflammation resulting in complete damage. The problem starts gradually but can take varied forms. An unusual rash is sometimes the first sign of this condition. Sometimes the patients might start falling or tripping more frequently.

Most often, patients misunderstand myositis symptoms as signs of old age. But the condition is real and can even become serious if not taken care of. Significant causes of myositis include injury, infection, drug side effects and autoimmune conditions. The treatment for this problem can differ as per the cause.

Myositis Types and Symptoms

The different types of myositis include:

  • Dermatomyositis - affects women and children. Is associated with rash.
  • Polymyositis - affects women between 30-60 years most often
  • Necrotizing Myopathy
  • Juvenile Myositis
  • Sporadic Inclusion Body Myositis (IBM)

You need to know more about Sporadic inclusion body myositis symptoms as it is the most common form of myositis found in people above 50 years of age. Major symptoms of this myositis type include difficulty climbing stairs or walking.

Muscle weakness and inflammation are the main symptoms of myositis. This weakness might be noticeable, or you can find it only through testing. Myalgias or muscle pain may or may not be present.

Polymyositis, Dermatomyositis and other inflammatory myositis cases cause muscle weakness that worsens over time. Muscle weakness generally affects large muscle groups, such as the shoulders, neck, back and hips, and muscles on both sides are usually affected.

Muscle weakness from the condition can result in falls and also make it difficult for patients to get up after a fall or from a chair. 

Other common signs of this inflammatory condition are:

  • Fatigue
  • Rash- In dermatomyositis
  • Difficulty swallowing - In IBM
  • Thickening of the skin on the hands
  • Pain in the muscles

People with myositis caused due to a virus can have the signs of viral infection, like fever, runny nose, sore throat, diarrhoea, nausea and cough. However, the signs of viral infection usually go away days or even weeks before the signs of myositis begin.

Myositis Diagnosis

Metropolis Healthcare Ltd. offers an immunoblot test to diagnose the disease. Test can detect up to sixteen different types of auto-antibodies which are responsible for the condition.

Myositis Treatment

Myositis treatment can vary as per the cause of the condition. However, basic treatment for the condition includes a blend of exercise and drugs.

Medicines are the first choice of treatment for the condition. High doses of steroids are administered in the beginning. These are given as injections or tablets, and they help reduce inflammation and muscle pain along with the feeling of being unwell.

Inflammatory conditions that cause myositis are treated with medicines that suppress the immune system. These include:

  • Azathioprine (Imuran)
  • Prednisone
  • Methotrexate

There is no specific treatment for myositis caused due to a viral infection.  

Myositis caused by the drug is treated by stopping the drug. People suffering from myositis due to statin drugs usually experience muscle inflammation that subsides within just a few weeks of stopping the drugs.

Most of the time, the medicines mentioned above are unable to treat myositis leading to more severe cases that require the use of treatments like:

  • Immunoglobulins

Immunoglobulins are the antibodies collected through blood donations offered by healthy individuals. These can stop the immune system from attacking the tissues in the body. It is offered in a hospital setting and is even repeated if required. It is likely for people to feel a bit unwell during this treatment.

  • Biological therapy

Biological therapies treat myositis by blocking targets in the immune system that lead to inflammation. Even the most serious cases of myositis respond to proper treatment, but patients might require life-long medicines to keep the condition in control.

  • Physiotherapy and Exercise

Rest is vital in an active myositis condition. And once the problem is better, exercise regularly to improve its symptoms and overall health. Essentially, aerobic exercises that make the heart beat faster and a person breathe more heavily are crucial to improve stamina and regain muscle strength.

Do such exercises under a physiotherapist’s supervision who usually offers tailored programs as per the requirement of the patients. Myositis patients should never engage in strenuous exercises. Kids with juvenile Dermatomyositis require more energetic physiotherapy to permanently avoid bending knees and other joints.

Myositis patients can recover properly, but not all can recover completely. Even for the ones who make a good recovery, it might take several months to see the improvement. That’s because treatment takes time to help the body repair the damaged muscles, resulting in tiredness among the patients. The key is to continue exercises, which can help with different aspects of myositis.

The Bottom Line

So, this is all about myositis symptoms and treatment. Myositis can present itself in varied forms affecting the entire body, not just the muscles. Therefore, proper diagnosis of the condition is not always possible. However, an all-inclusive assessment can make it easier to treat myositis patients. Besides that, you can opt for Myositis Profile-IgG Test to detect the particular autoantibodies for identifying myositis. 

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