Myositis

 

  • Myositis is considered to be one of the rarest diseases to affect humans. Experiencing this disease can prove to be extremely traumatic as it is the immune system of the body which gets destroyed and causes inflammation to the muscle tissue.
  •  If not cured on time, then this disease can effectively weaken the muscle tissue or even render it useless. The reason behind such a reaction from the immune system itself is still unknown. Myositis is not restricted to a certain age group and both kids as well as adults are equally prone to this disease.
  • Myositis is not detected easily as it develops and strengthens overtime and it is experienced in a wide range, meaning it can prove fatal or in some cases only mild and responsive to treatment.

Symptoms of Myositis

  • The most common and probably the first symptom signifying myositis is pain in muscle groups located in the shoulder and hip region. The pain is also accompanied by weakness which will gradually increase in degree.
  • Even common daily activities like climbing up the stairs or pulling out a chair or getting up from the bed etc would cause a lot of distress. Many myositis patients find it extremely difficult to even walk or stand independently even with support. Other muscle groups are also at a major risk from this disease.
  • As our respiratory system consists of muscles, if the chest muscles (lungs, heart) are affected then even breathing becomes a huge task. The same is experienced if the muscles in the neck are attacked and swallowing too can become painful.

Other signs include a possibility of rash on the face or on other parts of the body coupled with fever and swelling of joints etc.   

Forms of Myositis

  • To effectively deal with Myositis, one has to understand the different forms of the disease which affect humans.
  • Polymositis (PM) is a type of myositis which affects the muscles in the trunk of the body as well as areas near it. It causes inflammation to the muscles and also weakens them.
  •  Dermatomyositis (DM) is another type wherein the inflammation caused by the disease is responsible to extensive muscle and skin damage. Common symptoms of myositis are accompanied by rash on the eyelids, back, upper chest, elbows, knuckles, cheeks etc. In certain rare cases the patient is also known to develop hard bumps which feel like they are under the skin.
  • Inclusion Body Myositis (IBM) is a type of Myositis which generally afflicts people over the age of 50. The weakening of the muscle groups is gradual in nature. Major muscle groups like thigh muscles, forearms, biceps etc are affected along with small, delicate joints like wrists and fingers etc. Statistics tell us that the cases of IBM are higher and more dominant in males when compared to those in females and children. To this date the treatment for IBM has not been found.
  • In Juvenile Myositis (JM) the afflicted children suffer from the juvenile form of symptoms observed in DM, PM and IBM.

Treatment for Myositis

  • Till date, there is no full cure for myositis although certain forms of treatment can help curb the damage suffered by the body which is caused by this disease.
  • Some treatments help in reducing inflammation suffered by the muscle groups while others slow down the progress of the disease.
  •  Corticosteroids present in drugs like Prednisone help in suppressing the immune system which in turn slows down the attack of the disease on the muscle tissue and also help in restricting the skin rash.
  •  Drugs such as aspirin and Ibuprofen are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs/painkillers which offer a brief yet helpful relief from pain.
  •  Though a person suffering from Myositis cannot undertake a strenuous exercise regimen, the doctor usually prescribes light yet efficient stretching exercises which help in maintaining motion in the joints and the muscles. Regular exercise also slows down the degeneration/weakness of the muscle tissue.