Myositis is a rare ailment giving rise to inflammation in the muscles. This is a chronic condition, wherein the immune system of the body mistakes the muscle cells as foreign objects invading the system and begins to attack them, causing weakness and destruction.
Myositis is a severe autoimmune condition that occurs more often in adult women than in men, although it can develop in children and teenagers as well. It is characterized by prominent muscular pain, excessive fatigue, along with problems breathing and swallowing normally.
In certain instances, myositis also prompts the eruption of widespread rashes and peeling in the skin. This is commonly referred to as dermatomyositis, where the affected individual has tenderness and swelling in various muscle groups, such as the arms, abdomen and even the feet, like in the case of plantar fasciitis. Also Read: Plantar Fasciitis: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
It is hence advised to promptly consult with a doctor, as soon as any persistent muscle aches are experienced by a person, to ensure proper medical care and treatment.
The exact cause of myositis remains unknown until today. Medical researchers widely believe that chronic myositis is an autoimmune disorder, but certain other minor types of myositis are possibly triggered by muscle tissue deterioration due to injury, or some other underlying infection.
In certain situations, drug interactions can also trigger myositis, due to inhibiting reactions in the body with other medications or blood constituents. A muscular ailment is known as rhabdomyolysis, in which discharge of myoglobin protein occurs in the urine, which could also cause instances of myositis. Also Read: Rhabdomyolysis: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
The typical indications of different forms of myositis include:
- Bulging, redness and rashes on the skin
- Fatigue, along with dizziness
- Thickening of the skin on the hands
- Inability to swallow food or drink normally
- Breathing difficulties, particularly while walking or running
- Nausea and vomiting
- Cough, cold and runny nose
- Strain and agony in the extremities of fingers, toes
- Hurting in the joints
The healthcare provider conducts a series of tests to confirm a situation of myositis in the patient, as the condition presents in people very rarely and the signs in the initial stages might only be due to normal muscular pulls or injuries.
Due to this, the diagnosis of myositis is also quite challenging and time-consuming.
The specific laboratory tests to diagnose myositis consists of:
High levels of muscle enzymes, such as creatine kinase, may mean there is muscle inflammation. Other blood tests check for abnormal antibodies that may identify an autoimmune condition.
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging):
A scanner using a high-powered magnet and a computer creates images of the muscles. An MRI scan can help identify areas of myositis and changes in the muscles over time.
By inserting needle electrodes into muscles, a doctor can test the response of muscles to electrical nerve signals. EMG can identify muscles that are weak or damaged by myositis.
This is the most accurate test for diagnosing myositis. A doctor identifies a weak muscle, makes a small incision, and removes a small sample of muscle tissue for testing. Muscle biopsy leads to a final diagnosis in most people with myositis.
Since the exact reasons that induce myositis in a patient are not identified in most cases, there is no specific cure or treatment for this muscular illness.
As the autoimmune response in the body is activated, anti-inflammatory medicines are usually prescribed to the afflicted person, to lower swelling and pain in the muscles. These also function to suppress the aggravated immune system operations in the system.
If any underlying infections are triggering myositis, then the pertinent antibacterial or antiviral medications are given by the doctor, to rectify the condition. When drug interactions cause myositis, then the medical professional advises the patient to stop taking the medicines, to reduce muscle pain.
Only when rhabdomyolysis leads to severe myositis, the patient is hospitalized, to prevent grave damage to the muscles and kidneys.