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Myositis: Signs and Symptoms

Thursday, 03 April 2014 01:52 AM

Myositis refers to an inflammation of muscles that may be caused by some injury, accident, or autoimmune disease. The causes also include any side effects of a drug consumed by the person or an infection that may lead to the inflammation of muscles.
Doctors may use a physical exam, biopsy, or imaging tests to determine the inflammation of muscles. There is no specific cure, but one could control and cure the symptoms in various ways. It is not a life-threatening condition; it is just a sudden inflammation of muscle energy.

Types of Myositis

There are generally two types of myositis. They are:
  • Polymyositis: muscle weakness that may be caused in the muscles closer to the trunk of the body.
  • Dermatomyositis: muscle weakness in other areas, along with rashes found on the skin.
Some people with myositis may also have other autoimmune diseases. Some of the illnesses found in myositis are lupus, scleroderma, and rheumatoid arthritis. In such cases, symptoms of myositis are less severe than that of the other symptoms. Inflammatory conditions are the most serious types and causes of myositis, which may require long-term treatments. Some people might be put on low-dose medications to prevent the autoimmune attack of the disease.
Signs and Symptoms of Myositis

Prominent symptoms can be noticed at the early stages of this muscle inflammation. One of the main symptoms of myositis includes muscle weakness that may accompany muscle pain. Some types of myositis may take time to show, especially muscle weakness affecting the neck, shoulder muscles, back, and hips.
Other prominent symptoms may include the following:
  • Rashes and fatigue
  • Thickening and swelling of skin on the hands
  • Difficulty in swallowing and breathing
  • Diarrhea, fever caused by body pain, nausea, and viral infection
Myositis can be considered an autoimmune disease since illnesses associated with autoantibodies are called autoimmune diseases. However, not all people with myositis are affected by illnesses associated with autoantibodies.

Diagnosis and Prognosis of Myositis

A diagnosis could be made out of the following tests:
  • Blood tests, where abnormal antibodies for an autoimmune condition may be identified
  • MRI scan in which the scan may help to identify areas of myositis
  • EMG that helps to identify muscles that are weak and degenerated by myositis
  • Muscle biopsy is the most appropriate test for myositis. It may identify the causes and reveal the correct prognosis for myositis by using a small sample of the muscle tissue.
  • Apart from studying the physical symptoms, doctors may ask for blood tests for specific antibodies specific to muscle autoimmune disease.


Treating the symptoms is the priority for this autoimmune disease. Mostly, myositis occurs as an autoimmune disease and treating the symptoms will address the relief factor. Treatment for myositis may depend upon the specific cause of the muscle disease, which could include using drugs such as prednisone, azathioprine, and methotrexate. Drugs taken for myositis should be prescribed by the doctor. Other treatments include physiotherapy and rest. Precise and effective drugs will be prescribed for the autoimmune attack of the disease. Muscle inflammation usually subsides within a few weeks of rest after stopping the medicine.

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Myositis is basically inflammation of the muscles, which may be caused by muscle injury or accidents, or an autoimmune disease. Prominent symptoms can be noticed at early stages. Myositis could be detected with a muscle biopsy and MRI scans and could be treated with medicines and proper rest.
Thursday, 03 April 2014 01:52 AM
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