Myositis, in general terms, refers to a condition that causes severe muscle inflammation. There are many different types of myositis, which are categorized based on the part of the body they affect and the specific symptoms.
The four main types of myositis diseases include:
- Inclusion-body myositis
- Juvenile forms of myositis
By understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatment options available for myositis patients, you can be better informed to protect yourself and loved ones.
Signs and Symptoms of Myositis
The symptoms associated with myositis can vary depending on the specific type, but because all forms of myositis involve chronic inflammation of the muscles, the most common symptoms include muscle pain and weakness. However, people with myositis have also reported symptoms such as:
- Unexplained aches and pains
- Overall fatigue
- Difficulty swallowing
The exact causes of myositis aren’t completely understood, though many researchers agree that it is most likely an autoimmune condition. With an autoimmune condition, the body’s immune system attacks healthy cells. In myositis, the body’s immune system may begin attacking the muscle tissue. Still, the cause of this condition is unknown.
Some other researchers believe there is a link between myositis and other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and other specific autoimmune diseases.
Diagnosis and Treatment Options
Diagnosing myositis presents its own unique challenges, considering the condition itself is quite rare. Because the symptoms associated with myositis are also common with other types of conditions and diseases, misdiagnosis can occur.
This is why it’s so important to see an experienced specialist when you’re experiencing any symptoms that could point to myositis. They will be able to perform the necessary testing to not only rule out other causes but to pinpoint the specific type of myositis being experienced. Some of the diagnostic testing requirements may include:
- Muscle biopsy
- Blood testing
- Myositis antibody blood panels
For many patients diagnosed with myositis, medications can be effective in relieving symptoms as can exercise and stretching.
If you or someone you love is struggling with muscle pain or other symptoms of myositis and live in the Jacksonville or Orange Park areas, contact Arthritis and Osteoporosis Treatment Center today. You can schedule an appointment with our team of doctors, who have 30+ years of experience in rheumatology, for an evaluation and work towards getting the answers you need about your health.