June 25, 2008

Causes, Symptoms & Treatment for Myopathy

Posted in Category : Bone, Joint & Muscles Disorders

A neuromuscular disorder – Myopathy is characterized by muscle cramps, stiffness and spasms. While you stew veggies in the wok or hunch over work files and never talk, you’d suddenly experience a twitching and a stiffness that might restrain your movements. Myopathy is an infection or a genetic condition in which the muscle tissues are affected, leading to weakness of the muscle.


Myopathy is either acquired or inherited. Acquired myopathy could be due to dehydration, disorders of the endocrine system, infection, muscle cramps, inflammation of the muscle, myositis or neuron disorders that are usually neuromuscular diseases. Genetic myopathy or inherited myopathy could include genetic conditions like familial periodic paralysis, muscle weakness caused at birth known as congenital myopathies, muscular dystrophy, disease of muscle due to glycogen storage like Pompe’s disease, or myopathy of the mitochondria.


Inflammation or diseases that affect the muscles cause myopathy, and symptoms of the disease differ from person to person, depending on how bad the condition is. Common symptoms associated with myopathy include atrophy, cramping of muscles, inflammation, severe pain, stiffness or rigidity of muscles, paralysis, or weakness.

If the myopathy is advanced, make sure that you get medical help immediately. Some of the symptoms that indicate a serious condition include twitching muscles or cramps in your arms, shoulders or tongue, weakened ankle, leg or feet muscles, difficulty in swallowing your food, weakening on one side of the body, slurred speech, or difficulty in raising your foot and toes. Complications that could arise due to severe cases of myopathy include disability, myalgia or chronic muscle pain, or paralysis.


The first step to get your myopathy treated is to visit your doctor so that they can help verify whether or not you are suffering from myopathy. You will be asked to name your symptoms and the frequency at which they occur and possibly sent for diagnostic testing.  If diagnosed with myopathy, your doctor will prescribe a treatment plan that will suit your needs. Make sure that you follow it regularly and take your medication as well.

The first thing your doctor will diagnose is whether you have acquired or genetic myopathy, based on this, your doctor will proceed. If you are suffering from acquired myopathy and show symptoms of muscle cramping, your doctor will advise you to try and augment hydration, steady electrolyte levels, and decrease inflammation by using ice therapy. You may also be instructed to restrict your movements, give your muscles time to relax and rest, or if the swelling is bad, you may be prescribed anti-inflammatory medication.

To cure myopathy, you need to make sure that your muscles are h3. Patients of both acquired and genetic chronic myopathy are usually instructed to opt for supportive therapy including physical therapy, a brace to help give you better function, or surgery to reduce swelling and symptoms associated with myopathy. In most cases, medication to help manage the pain as well have an anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed.

If the myopathy is caused due to disorders resulting from poor immunity, immunosuppressive drugs will be prescribed to decrease swelling and inflammation. There are alternate treatments to help patients suffering from myopathy, but they are not to be substituted for proper medical care. Massage therapy, acupuncture, and yoga are also known to help with myopathy.


  1. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/inflammatory_myopathies/detail_inflammatory_myopathies.htm
  2. http://static.mda.org/publications/PDFs/FactsAboutMyopathies.pdf