Myalgia / Myositis

How often have you visited a doctor and were unable to understand a lot of words that he uses? Having a better grasp of medical terms help you get a good understanding of the disease you are suffering from. On your last visit, if you have heard the doctor using the words “Myalgia and Myositis” but were confused what they actually mean, don’t worry as today we will help you understand this disease.

Myalgia

This is a term broadly used to define muscle pain and symbolizes many different injuries and diseases. For instance, Myalgia is used to describe the main symptom of a pulled muscle. The pain can be localized or generalized depending on the cause of pain.

Myositis

Myositis often refers to inflammation of the muscles and describes the symptoms rather than describing the condition. A person suffering from this condition can experience muscle pain, weakness and muscle swelling.

Causes Myalgia / Myositis

The most common cause of Myalgia is a common injury such as tension, strains or hematoma. A bruise in the muscle can also be a result of repetitive strain injury. It may also be caused as a result of autoimmune disorders or because of certain medications such as cocaine, fibrates or statins.

Myositis also results due to similar causes; however the most common causes reported for this disease are autoimmune disorders. It can also be caused as a result of side effect of various drugs such as statins.

Symptoms

Some of the most commonly seen symptoms of Myalgia and Myositis include:

  • Weight Loss.
  • Fever and Chills.
  • Sleep Disturbance.
  • Tingling and Numbness.
  • Visual Disturbance.
  • Ringing in The Ears.
  • Gastrointestinal Symptoms.

Diagnosis

The first step to diagnosis the neurological disease is to note the exact location of discomfort or pain. Symptoms may differ from individual to individual therefore the doctor take a note of all the neurological symptoms, constitutional symptoms, and other symptoms that a patient might be experiencing.

  • Physical Examination: To determine the underlying causes of Myalgia or Myositis, the doctor may ask you to undertake a complete physical analysis. Through this test, the physician may determine stiffness, coordination or weakness that an individual might be experiencing. Enlargement, wasting and permanent shortening of the muscles are also evident through this test.
  • Tests: The patient is required to undergo a complete blood test that may detect inflammation and the presence of antibodies. The test also helps measure the speed of sedimentation of RBC’s along with evaluating the hormones level, electrolytes level to help determine the presence of breakdown of tissue. The doctor may even advise you to take a urine test.

Some of the most commonly suggests test include:

  • Electromyography (EMG).
  • X-Ray.
  • Nerve Conduction Studies.
  • Bone Scans.
  • Muscle Biopsy.

Treatment

Myalgia or Myositis is treated depending on the specific diagnosis. In certain cases, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs can be used to condition while in other cases; a more precise treatment might be required.

Passive stretching, massage, and heat may provide temporary relief to the patient but the pain returns soon. The pain is also treated with the use of a dental appliance or mouth guard, immunosuppressive and steroids medicines. However, make sure you do not indulge in self-medication as it can cause more harm than good to your body.

Prognosis

Since Myositis and Myalgia are symptoms and not disease, the expected result depends on the effective diagnosis and specific treatment. Consult a neurologist who has years of experience and has worked with a number of patients suffering from this disorder. The symptoms continue to vary indefinitely, so make sure you get the right treatment according to your symptoms and requirements.

 

FAQ about Myalgia

What are the signs and symptoms of myalgia?

Experiencing severe muscle pain that is accompanied by constant fatigue that decreases your life quality and performance levels, probably you have myalgia. Usually, the unpleasant sensations of weakness and aching occur unexpectedly, especially when performing certain physical activities. Muscle pains are often accompanied by swelling of the arms or legs or even local inflammation. Other signs are fever, redness of some areas, pain in joints.

The symptoms of myalgia may be absolutely unrelated to other diseases. However, it can also be a signal of some serious dysfunctions in your body. Thus, discomfort in the muscles and joints of different degrees may be the indicator of rheumatic diseases, injuries, inflammatory processes in muscle fibers, the intoxication of the body, neurological pathologies, potassium and magnesium deficiency, metabolic disorders, and endocrine diseases. The consultation with a neurologist is of paramount importance to detect the key source for muscle pain and alleviate the symptoms.

How is myalgia diagnosed?

The primary diagnosis can be made already upon the initial examination of the patient. One of the techniques that can be applied to assess the severity of the neuromuscular disorder is myography. Blood tests are also essential to spot changes consistent with damaging of muscles, inflammation, or underlying illnesses that provoke tight muscles that are sore. 

Diagnosis of myalgia is aimed at identifying the cause of its occurrence, so the medical specialist can develop an efficient treatment plan. In some cases, the true cause and key triggers are hard to determine, which leads to long-term symptomatic treatment. However, receiving timely care will help to cope with this ailment in the early stages and avoid complications.

What is the difference between myalgia and fibromyalgia?

Painful sensations in muscles, regardless of their origin, always cause discomfort. Myalgia is almost always accompanied by acute pain or even spasms since it spreads not only to soft tissues but also may affect the nerve endings. It is pivotal to understand that myalgia is just a symptom that can be the consequence of intense physical activity, the side effect from medications, or a sign of infection or some disorders, while fibromyalgia is a medical chronic condition that can last for a long period if left untreated. Fibromyalgia includes:

  • widespread musculoskeletal aches;
  • extreme tiredness;
  • troubles with sleep;
  • chronic depression;
  • mood and memory issues;
  • tenderness in localized areas.

Recognizing simple muscle pain characterized by myalgia and a multi-symptom condition called fibromyalgia can help you manage the condition properly, as even if fibromyalgia is not life-threatening, it still should be handled with the assistance of knowledgeable specialists to restore well-being.

Who treats myalgia?

With a mild form of the disease, muscle pain is possible to eliminate at home. For this, over-the-counter pain relievers are used. It is recommended to apply ice to the affected areas of the body as a result of injuries. This helps prevent tissue inflammation from occurring, reduces swelling, and relieves acute sensations. If home treatment is not enough to fight the soreness, then you need to consult a neurologist who ensures competent diagnostics, treatment, and rehabilitation and is capable of restoring health and normal life through efficient therapy. Depending on the triggers of myalgia, the pathology may require the joint work of other specialists, such as orthopedic specialists, physiatrists, psychotherapists. The tactics of treatment depend on the specific situation and require an individual approach.

Our Doctors

DR. MARIA DOLGOVINA
Neurologist
Dr. Dolgovina is board-certified in Neurology and Sleep Medicine
DR. MARINA NEYSTAT
Neurologist
Dr. Marina Neystat is a board-certified neurologist, Affiliate Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology, and co-owner of Advanced Medical Care

Advanced Medical Care doctors carry out diagnostic, therapeutic, preventive and rehabilitation procedures using modern equipment

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