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Myolitis -- Causes and Top 7
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March 15, 2016
By L. Carr, Contributing Columnist
Myositis is no ordinary muscle pain. Myositis refers to any
kind of condition that causes inflammation in the muscles –
and it can lead to serious muscle weakness and even difficulty
swallowing and breathing.
This debilitating condition may be caused by injury, infection,
autoimmune disease or the side effects of certain drugs.
Depending on the cause there are various treatments for
myositis. Find out why you get myositis, and what you can do
to remedy the condition.
What Exactly is Myositis?
When people talk about myositis, they are using a general
term referring to inflammation of the muscles.
Inflammatory myopathies include the diseases
dermatomyositis, inclusion body myositis, juvenile myositis,
and polymyositis. These diseases also cause muscle damage
and are called autoimmune diseases because your own
immune system attacks your muscle.
All of the autoimmune conditions that cause myositis are,
unfortunately, not completely understood even by the
What Causes Myositis?
Because myositis is a general condition, it can be caused by
anything that produces inflammation in the muscles, including
the inflammatory diseases noted above.
Other inflammatory disease can produce a less severe form of
myositis, including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and
scleroderma. Myositis muscle inflammation may also be
caused by an infection, or bacteria in some rare cases.
Some medications and drugs cause myositis including, most
commonly, statins. And you may also suffer from myositis
after you get injured during vigorous exercise.
What are the Symptoms of Myositis?
The most prominent myositis symptom is muscle weakness.
Muscle pain is also a symptom, although it is not present in
every case of myositis. Muscle weakness is progressive and
can be severe, affecting whole muscle groups such as the
back, hips, shoulders and neck.
Myolitis can make it difficult to get up from a chair, and more
likely to cause falls.
Other symptoms that may affect you when you have myositis
include a rash, a thickening of the skin on your hands,
fatigue, difficulty swallowing, and difficulty breathing.
We looked at the recent scientific evidence to find remedies
for the distressing condition of myositis. These solutions may
help, depending on what has caused the myositis in the first
1. Staying Active Reduces Myositis Symptoms
The Myositis Association says even modest daily activity can
be beneficial when you suffer from myositis.
A 2003 study from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm also
echoes this view, saying that physical activity should be
included along with medication in the treatment of myositis
caused by chronic rheumatic muscle inflammation.
However, every sufferer is different and you need to find the
level and type of activity that suits you best.
Walking, swimming, resistance workouts or even gardening
can help ease muscle pain and build strength in the muscles.
Build up slowly and recognize that some days it will be easier
than others to be active.
2. Resistance Exercise is Great for Myositis
If you can add a little resistance training into your physical
activity mix, all the better, according to a 2010 study from the
Children’s National Medical Center in Washington and the
Karolinska Institute in Sweden.
Far from increasing muscle inflammation, researchers say
resistance training in moderation improves muscle
performance in people with myositis, and actually reduces
inflammation and fibrosis in the affected muscle.
In the study, participants underwent a seven-week program
of mild resistance exercise training.
3. Take Coenzyme Q10 to Counteract the Symptoms of
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) acts as an antioxidant and low levels
of coenzyme Q10 have been found in people with myositis.
Therefore, experts suggest supplementation with the
substance can help.
A 2016 study from Kyung Hee University in Seoul
demonstrated that the severity of myositis caused by statins
was reduced when people took coenzyme Q10 along with the
What’s more, researchers found that supplementation with
coenzyme Q10 also reduced total fat, triglycerides, total
cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol – it also
has an anti-obesity effect.
4. Fish Oil Helps Treat Myositis?
Omega 3 fatty acids – fish oils – come from fatty fish like
salmon, anchovies, sardines, and mackerel. They may help
reduce inflammation in the muscles, and lower the production
Many myositis sufferers swear by fish oil. But according to a
2002 study from the University of Kentucky, fish oil was not
effective at reducing myositis associated with vigorous
If you want to take omega 3 fatty acids be aware that they
can interact with over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and
can cause digestive distress in high doses.
5. Eat Turmeric to Ease Myositis
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) spice is believed to have anti-
inflammatory properties and it is also a known antioxidant.
You can add turmeric to your foods or take a supplement
containing curcumin, the substance found in turmeric – a
2007 study from the University of South Carolina showed
that mice taking curcumin experienced reduced inflammation
in the muscles after vigorous exercise.
6. Myositis Can Be Remedied with Glucosamine
Glucosamine is essential for making proteins in the muscles as
well as in tendons, cartilage and ligaments. Glucosamine has
long been used as a treatment for arthritis, and it may also
help to increase movement and reduce inflammation in people
with generalized myositis. A 2001 study from the University
of Liege in Belgium shows improvements in muscle symptoms
in people who have osteoarthritis of the knee.
7. Try Shockwave Treatment for Myositis
Want to try something different for myositis? Shockwave
therapy is delivered through acoustic waves generated by a
shockwave trigger, and the treatment is said to heal and
regenerate tissue, including muscle tissue in the case of
myositis. A 2010 study by the Hospital of Lodi in Italy looked
at 24 sportsmen who had suffered myositis due to direct
trauma or micro injuries. After two months, the participants
displayed a normal range of movement and no signs of
weakness in the muscle. After three months, almost 90
percent of the patients had resumed their regular sporting
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|Adding curcumin to your diet can
reduce the inflammation fo myolitis.