Habish Ribin Haneef
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The word myositis simply means inflammation in muscles. Myositis is a rare condition that makes your muscles weak, tired, and painful. The main muscles affected by myositis are around the shoulders, hips, and thighs. Myositis can also affect other parts of the body like the skin, lungs, and heart. In some cases, myositis affects the muscles that perform tasks such as breathing and swallowing. The disease can affect people of any age, including children. Myositis is difficult to diagnose and the cause is sometimes unknown. In some cases, symptoms can appear rapidly while in other cases they can develop gradually. The primary symptoms of myositis include muscle pain and soreness, fatigue, trouble swallowing, and difficulty in breathing. There are different types of myositis and with the exception of one type of myositis, women are more likely to be affected by this disorder than men.

Types of Myositis:

There are mainly five types of myositis- Dermatomyositis, inclusion-body myositis, juvenile myositis, polymyositis, and toxic myositis.


Dermatomyositis: Dermatomyositis is a type of myositis marked by muscle weakness and a distinctive skin rash. The rashes develop on the eyelids, face, chest, neck, and back. The rashes also develop over joints like knuckles, elbows, knees, and toes. Other symptoms of dermatomyositis include muscle pain, weight loss, fatigue, joint inflammation, irregular heartbeat, hoarseness in the voice, gastrointestinal ulcers, difficulty in getting up from a seated position, nail-bed abnormalities, weakness in the neck, hip, back, and shoulder muscles, and scaly, dry, or rough skin. There is no cure for dermatomyositis but there can be an improvement in symptoms of the disorder. Don’t forget to seek medical help if you develop muscle weakness or rashes in your body.

inclusion body

Inclusion-body myositis: Inclusion-body myositis is a disorder that causes muscle weakness and damage. This disorder is more common in older people, especially men over 50. The parts mainly affected by inclusion-body myositis are the wrists and fingers, the front of the thighs, and the front of the legs below the knee. The symptoms of inclusion-body myositis include frequent tripping and falls, knees giving way, loss of ability to walk or dexterity in your hands, difficulty raising the front of your foot, and muscle weakness in the quadriceps, hand, forearm and ankle. Diagnosing this disorder is not that easy as the symptoms are not unique to this condition. There is no specific treatment for inclusion-body myositis but a combination of medication and rehabilitation can be beneficial for many people.


Juvenile myositis: Juvenile myositis is found in children under 18 years of age and affects 2 to 4 children per million. Juvenile dermatomyositis is the most frequent form of juvenile myositis. In juvenile dermatomyositis, children experience marked muscle weakness and skin rash. Juvenile polymyositis can also occur in children but is extremely rare. The symptoms of juvenile myositis include reddish-purple rash over the eyelids or joints, hoarseness in the voice, general tiredness, tummy aches, difficulty in lifting the head, trouble swallowing, moodiness or irritability, gradual muscle weakness, difficulty in standing up from a seated position, difficulty to climb stairs, and swelling or redness in the skin around the fingernails. There is no specific treatment for juvenile myositis but there are some treatments that can almost control the symptoms of the disorder.


Polymyositis: Polymyositis is an inflammatory disease that leads to muscle weakness affecting both sides of your body. Polymyositis most commonly affects people in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. This disorder is seen more in women than in men. A person with polymyositis will find it difficult to climb stairs, rise from a seated position, and lift objects or reach overhead. The symptoms of polymyositis include muscle weakness, aching or painful muscles, feeling tired, trouble swallowing, feeling unhappy or depressed, and difficulty in holding your head up. There is no specific treatment for polymyositis but certain medications and physical therapies can improve your muscle strength and function.

Toxic myositis: Toxic myositis is an extremely rare type of myositis caused by some prescribed medications and illicit drugs. Cholesterol-lowering medications like statins, certain immunosuppressants, cocaine, toluene, omeprazole, and adalimumab are some of the major causes of toxic myositis. The symptoms of toxic myositis are the same as the other types of myositis. A person with toxic myositis experience improvements in his/her condition once they stop the medication or drug that caused the disorder.


Myositis is very difficult to diagnose as it is a rare disorder. Another problem is that the primary symptoms of myositis are muscle weakness and fatigue which are very common in many other diseases too. However, doctors use some techniques to aid in the diagnosis of myositis which includes blood test, physical examination, muscle biopsy, nerve conduction study, electromyography, genetic testing, magnetic resonance imaging, and myositis specific antibody panel blood test.


There is no specific treatment for myositis. As this disorder is a rare one, doctors will really find it difficult to find a remedy for this. However, doctors prescribe corticosteroids like prednisone along with immunosuppressant drugs such as azathioprine and methotrexate. Exercise, physical therapy, strethching, and yoga can also keep your muscles strong and flexible.


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Check your knowledge

Answer. Myositis is a rare condition that makes your muscles weak, tired, and painful.

Answer. There are mainly five types of myositis- Dermatomyositis, inclusion-body myositis, juvenile myositis, polymyositis, and toxic myositis.

Answer. The primary symptoms of myositis are muscle weakness and fatigue.

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