Myositis: what it is, main types, causes and treatment

Myositis is an inflammation of the muscles that causes them to weaken, causing symptoms such as muscle pain, muscle weakness and increased muscle sensitivity, which leads to difficulty in performing some tasks such as climbing stairs, raising arms, standing, walking or raise a chair, for example.

Myositis can affect any region of the body and, in some cases, the problem resolves itself with treatment that usually involves the use of medicines and exercises to maintain muscle strength. However, in other cases, myositis is a chronic, lifelong problem that can be relieved with treatment.

Possible symptoms

Symptoms associated with myositis usually include:

  • Muscle weakness;
  • Constant muscle pain;
  • Weight loss;
  • Fever;
  • Irritation;
  • Loss of voice or nasal voice;
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing.

These symptoms can vary according to the type and cause of myositis, and therefore, whenever abnormal muscle fatigue is suspected, it is important to consult a general practitioner or rheumatologist, to identify the problem and initiate appropriate treatment.

Main causes and how to treat

According to its cause, myositis can be divided into several types. Some of these types are:

1. Ossifying myositis

Progressive ossifying myositis, also called fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, is a rare genetic disease in which muscles, ligaments and tendons gradually turn into bone, due to trauma such as bone breaks or muscle damage. Its symptoms usually include loss of movement in the joints affected by the disease, leading to an inability to open the mouth, pain, deafness or difficulty breathing.

How to treat: there is no treatment capable of curing myositis ossificans, however, it is important to do frequent follow-up with the doctor to relieve symptoms that may arise. Learn more about what ossifying myositis is.

2. Infant myositis

Infantile myositis affects children between 5 and 15 years old. Its cause is not yet known, but it is a disease that causes muscle weakness, reddish skin lesions and generalized pain, which leads to difficulty climbing stairs, dressing or combing hair or difficulty swallowing.

How to treat it: using corticosteroids and immunosuppressants prescribed by the pediatrician, as well as regular physical exercise to help maintain muscle strength.

3. Infectious myositis

Infectious myositis is usually caused by an infection such as flu or even trichinosis, which is an infection that occurs by eating raw or undercooked pork or wild animals, causing symptoms such as muscle pain, muscle weakness and in the case of flu, runny nose and fever.

How to treat it: the disease that is causing the inflammation of the muscles must be treated, however, the doctor may also prescribe corticosteroid medications such as Prednisone to reduce inflammation more quickly.

4. Acute viral myositis

Acute viral myositis is a rare type of disease that makes muscles inflamed, weakened and painful. HIV and common flu viruses can cause this muscle infection. Symptoms develop quickly and the patient may even be unable to get out of bed with so much pain and weakness during the infection.

How to treat: use of antiviral drugs or corticosteroids prescribed by the doctor, to relieve symptoms. In addition, it is still recommended to maintain adequate fluid intake to avoid dehydration, as well as to rest until the symptoms disappear.