Myositis is an inflammation of muscles. Affected individuals will have difficulty contracting their muscles because of the damage to the muscle fibers from the inflammation. The inflammation may be caused by the body attacking its own tissues (autoimmune), infection, drug side effects, or injury. After traumatic injury, myositis can occur in bruised areas. The inflammation may also be idiopathic, or without a known cause.
Common symptoms include muscle soreness, weakness, difficulty swallowing, and trouble climbing stairs. Individuals affected by myositis may have a decrease in their muscle mass (atrophy) for long periods of time. Individuals affected by the flu or other viral infections often experience myositis during their recovery. This is frequently seen in young children and manifests as severe leg pain and inability to walk properly for a few days.
Doctors can use lab tests, a physical exam, medical imaging, and blood or muscle samples to diagnose myositis. Treatment will depend on the cause of the inflammation. Myositis without a known cause may persist for long periods of time, while inflammation caused by infection or drugs will go away after the infection is cleared or the drug has been stopped. Common treatments for myositis include medication, physical therapy, and dietary supplements. If you are suffering from myositis, talk to your doctor about the most current treatment options.