Treating Inflammatory Myositis  

By Canada Cloud Pharamacy | Published Saturday 20 February 2021

An inflammatory myositis is a group of diseases that involves inflammation and weakness of the muscles. Although it is a rare condition, you can treat it by accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

What is inflammatory myositis?

It is an autoimmune condition in which for some unknown reasons, the body’s immune system attacks the muscles.  As a result, the muscles become weak. Many a times the condition may involve some organs and joints. Dermatomyositis, polymyositis and inclusion body myositis are the different types of myositis. Although it is autoimmune in nature, an injury to the muscles, electrolyte imbalance, infections, thyroid problems or inherited conditions may cause inflammatory myositis.

What are the symptoms one may experience in myositis?

People with myositis experience the following symptoms:

•    Coughing and difficulty in breathing
•    Choking due to food aspiration
•    Difficulty while walking, getting up from sitting position and reaching out for things above the head
•    Weakness and pain in larger muscles of the neck, hips and shoulder.
•    Tripping while walking.
•    Fatigue on standing and walking.

How will doctors diagnose inflammatory myositis?

Your doctor may suggest a visit to a rheumatologist for further consultation. Since myositis is a rare condition, the doctors cannot diagnose only by noting the symptom. After collecting some basic information, the doctor carries out an accurate diagnosis in the following way:

•    Medical history: The doctor will note your medical and family history and the details regarding the occurrence of the symptoms. 
•    Physical examination: Your doctor may ask you to perform some typical movements such as walking, squeezing an object with your hands or raising your arms above the head, to test your muscle strength.
•    Blood tests: Abnormal range of some muscle enzymes and the presence of myositis specific antibodies can specifically point towards myositis and help your rheumatologist rule out other conditions.

Doctors will order some more diagnostic tests:
•    Electromyography (EMG): To gauge the electric activity of the muscles. 
•    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): To detect abnormalities in the muscles
•    Nerve conduction velocity (NCV): Studies to measure the nerve condition. 
•    Muscle and skin biopsy: To determine the presence of specific proteins, inflammation or damage.

Differential diagnosis of the condition is essential to confirm inflammatory myositis. If your doctor suspects lung involvement, he/she may order a pulmonary function test.

What are the treatment options for myositis?

Although the condition does not have any permanent cure, reducing the inflammation is the mainstay of the treatment. Doctors may suggest lifestyle changes in addition to medications to restore the strength of the muscles. Typically, rheumatologists prescribe the following medications: 
•    Corticosteroids such as prednisone to control inflammation
•    Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen may offer pain relief.
•    Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) such as methotrexate, hydroxychloroquine, immunoglobulins to regulate the immune system and retard the destruction caused to your muscles by antibodies.
•    Immunoglobulins can also be used.
In addition to medication, lifestyle changes such as healthy diet, exercises, physical therapy may help to improve your muscle strength and prevent dystrophy. The following will help you manage your health condition:
•    Exercises: Regular physical activity that involves stretching exercises help to maintain flexibility and restore the movement range in the affected arms or legs.
•    Diet: Talk to a nutritionist for a diet plan that provides nutrition and is good for your health.
•    Rest: Do not work continuously. Take breaks and rest for some time.
•    Manage stress: Practice yoga or any other relaxation technique to manage daily stress.

Early diagnosis, appropriate treatment, self-care measures and regular medication will help you fight this chronic illness without worries and have a better quality of life. 


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