Five Common Muscular Diseases

Common Muscular Diseases

Swimming, walking, running, sitting, and even talking are all activities that rely on muscles. Any motion, whether we are conscious of it or not, depends on muscles. We rely on our muscles to move throughout the motions of everyday life. Without muscles, our bodies would not be able to function properly. When problems arise due to muscular disorders the body can feel weak and painful. Muscles are very significant to our lives, yet we may take them for granted at times. Muscle disorders, also known as myopathy, can create difficulty for those dealing with certain muscular diseases.

The following article will be examining common muscular diseases. However, first, it is important to observe a general understanding of muscle diseases.

Overview

There are three types of muscles within the human body: skeletal muscle, smooth muscle, and cardiac muscle. Skeletal muscle is the only type of muscle in the body that is under voluntary control. Additionally, it is the muscle attached to bones by tendons. Smooth muscles are involuntary and can be found in the stomach, intestine, and blood vessels. Also, cardiac muscle is involuntary. Because it is named the cardiac muscle, it is found within the heart. Because the body relies on the different types of muscles, it is important to understand how different muscular diseases work.

Muscular diseases can occur at all ages and can be complicated and severe depending on the certain condition. Additionally, there are two different types of muscle diseases: genetic and non-genetic. Genetic muscular diseases include disorders that are related to a gene disorder and involve muscular dystrophies. Other genetic muscle diseases include storage myopathies, mitochondrial diseases, periodic paralysis, and congenital myopathies. Unlike genetic diseases, non-genetic disorders are not genetic (hence the term “non” genetic). Instead, non-genetic conditions are acquired. Inflammatory muscle diseases, myasthenia gravis, and drugs or hormonal disorders involve non-genetic muscular diseases.

Causes

The following are causes of muscular disorders:

  • sprains or strains
  • cramps or tendinitis
  • genetic disorder
  • infections
  • inflammation
  • some cancers
  • certain medicines
  • diseases of nerves that can affect muscle function

Symptoms

The following are a few general symptoms that people may experience if they have muscular diseases:

  • Weakness and Fatigue: muscle weakness tends to be progressive and involves muscles located near the hip or shoulder
  • Trouble Moving: difficulty moving, such as walking, running, climbing stairs, or attempting to stand from a seated position
  • Trouble with Shoulder Muscles: difficulty in using shoulder muscles, such as lifting or carrying heavy loads, reaching above the head, or holding heavy items
  • Muscle Atrophy: shrinking muscle mass
  • Pain: defects in blood circulation, injury, or inflammation may cause pain in the muscles

Muscular Diseases

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a disorder that involves musculoskeletal pain. Researchers have determined the disease is caused by amplified pain sensations that are perceived by the brain. Fibromyalgia is more common among women. Although there is no cure for fibromyalgia, there are ways to manage symptoms, such as medications, exercise, and relaxation techniques.

Polymyositis

The condition is an inflammatory disease, which causes muscle weakness. There are several symptoms of polymyositis, such as difficulty standing from a seated position, climbing stairs, or reaching above the head and lifting certain objects. Polymyositis is a rare condition, but tends to affect people around 30 to 50 years of age.

Cerebral Palsy

As a result of brain damage, cerebral palsy involves an impairment or loss of motor function. People who have cerebral palsy are either born with the condition or it develops after birth. Problems associated with cerebral palsy include lack of muscle control, body movement, muscle coordination, and difficulty balancing.

Mitochondrial Myopathies

Mitochondria are important components within cells because they provide energy. They are known as the energy factories of the cell. Problems connected with the mitochondria affects mitochondrial encephalomyopathy. Mitochondrial encephalomyopathy involves muscular and neurological problems, such as muscle weakness, difficulty exercising, hearing loss, difficulty balancing, seizures, and learning deficits.

Muscular Dystrophy

Usually caused by abnormal gene mutations, muscular dystrophy is a group of 30 genetic diseases that involve the loss and degeneration of muscle mass. Muscular dystrophy leads to muscle weakness. It is used as a broader term associated with genetic diseases due to the gene mutations that interfere with healthy muscle proteins. The most common types of muscular dystrophy include those that affect individuals in early childhood and males. Problems and symptoms include difficulty walking, losing the ability to walk, and difficulty breathing or swallowing.

Major forms of muscular dystrophy include:

  • Myotonic
  • Duchenne
  • Becker
  • Limb-girdle
  • Facioscapulohumeral
  • Congenital
  • Oculopharyngeal
  • Distal
  • Emery-Dreifuss

Although there is no cure for muscular dystrophy, certain medication and therapy can help to slow down the disease.

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