Myositis, which can be directly translated to “muscle inflammation”, encompasses any condition that causes inflammation to muscles. It is caused by white blood cells, whose normal role is to act as a protector in your body’s immune system. In this case, though, healthy muscle fibers are mistakenly marked as foreign intruders. This causes white blood cells to attack the muscle fibers, creating the inflammation that characterizes myositis. Myositis can be painful and lead to the breakdown of muscle fibers, as well as long-term fatigue.
While there is no official cure for myositis, that does not mean there aren’t ways to manage the symptoms and live a more comfortable life. It is not possible to become fully cured, but the current treatments for myositis offer great ways to reduce inflammation and increase your mobility. Read on to see what your options are when managing myositis.
Medical Treatment for Myositis
Two main classes of medication are used to treat and manage myositis. The first, corticosteroids, work to suppress your body’s immune response. This helps to stop white blood cells from attacking healthy muscle fibers, allowing for your muscles to regain health in the long term. The other class of medication used to treat myositis are anti-inflammatory and pain-relief medications. These help reduce inflammation around muscle fibers that have already been attacked by your body’s immune response. Pain-relief medication, such as Advil, cannot help treat muscle fibers but it can make you more comfortable.
Treating Myositis Through Lifestyle Changes
One of the biggest symptoms of myositis is pain and weakness in the affected muscles. While this makes regular exercise and physical therapy a challenge, it is truly one of the best ways to rehabilitate. Stretching in particular can be very helpful in regaining flexibility and the range of motion that may have been lost. Since myositis can lead to muscular degeneration, stretching and light exercise are excellent ways to regain mobility and keep your muscles healthy. In contrast, being sure to get a lot of rest and taking frequent breaks throughout the day is also highly recommended when managing myositis. Allowing your muscles to recover through rest is key. Having a balanced diet and reducing stress are also great ways to manage myositis.
Myositis can look very different from one person to another. Because of that, the best way to manage and treat it for one person may not be the best way for the next. Understanding the cause behind your specific case can be instrumental in managing your symptoms. Additionally, having a good understanding of your specific lifestyle and diet, as well as areas where they can be improved to better handle myositis, is very helpful. It can be hard to get to the root of the problem, but you don’t have to do it alone. At Advanced Rheumatology of Houston, our team has years of experience helping patients to manage their myositis symptoms. Call us today at (281) 766-7886 to learn how we can help you live a life with less pain.