Myositis is defined as inflammation of muscles used to move your body. The two types of myositis are polymyositis and dermatomyositis. Both of these conditions cause muscle weakness, but dermatomyositis also causes a rash. These diseases are also known as myopathies.
Myopathies affect healthy muscles via immune systems attacks. The inflammation causes damage to the muscle, subsequently making the muscles weak. There are a handful of symptoms of myopathies. You can view a list of symptoms below.
- Weak muscles around the neck, shoulder, or hips
- Difficulty with standing up from a chair, climbing stairs, and raising your arms
- Little to no pain in weak muscles
- Having trouble swallowing food and drink
- Cough or shortness of breath
If you have dermatomyositis, a red or purple rash may appear on your upper eyelids, knuckles, knees, or elbows. Patients can have the rash, but no sign of muscle weakness. Children with this disease could also suffer from skin lesions.
How to Diagnose and Treat Myositis?
Myositis is treatable, and it is crucial patients follow their doctor’s plan. The first step in treating myositis is treating it. The doctor will start with a muscle strength exam. A test like this will help the doctor determine if muscle weakness is truly present and if any pain occurs. If rashes or breathing issues are reported, then the doctor will examine those areas as well.
Other tests, such as a blood test, MRI, or electromyogram, may also be used to determine the diagnosis. If the patient is diagnosed with polymyositis and dermatomyositis, then there are a few treatment options available. The first treatment is often a corticosteroid. It will help reduce inflammation and provides more benefits weeks and months later.
Additionally, the doctor may prescribe other medications for patient treatment plans. Physical therapy paired with the medication also helps patients live active and healthy lives. Therapy can help gain back strength in muscles and live a healthier life.
Schedule for a Diagnosis Today
Patients suffering from shortness of breath, rashes, muscle weakness, or any other myositis symptoms should schedule a diagnosis today. Call Advanced Rheumatology of Houston at (281) 766-7886. Dr. Brionez will help patients gain back their muscle strength and live healthier lives.