Conditions that can be related to Scleroderma or Raynaud's
Myositis is a rare condition that affects the muscles. The term myositis means "inflammation of the muscles" and it is usually caused by an underlying problem with the immune system, where it mistakenly attacks healthy tissue.
There are different types of myositis which all affect the muscles, including:
Although the condition affects adults and children, the childhood form possibly has different underlying causes and behaves somewhat differently from the adult form. Children can be expected to make a complete recovery. However, Myositis is a rare disease in any of its forms.
In most of these conditions, the voluntary muscles break down due to inflammation. The main symptom of these illnesses is muscular weakness which can vary from week to week or month to month, although it tends to get worse without treatment. Other symptoms can include:
People often have difficulty climbing stairs, rising from a seated position, turning over in bed, raising their arms over their head, and grasping items with their hands, and many become prone to falls. Symptoms can appear gradually, over a period of months or even years, or it may develop more rapidly, within days or weeks.
In addition to the above, with dermatomyositis, red or purple-coloured rash often appears on the face (eyelids, nose and cheeks), back, upper chest, elbows, knees and knuckles.
The rash can be itchy or painful, and you may also get hard lumps of tissue under the skin called calcinosis.
The main signs are muscle weakness, painful or aching muscles, tripping or falling, and extreme tiredness after walking or standing. If you have any of these symptoms you should see your GP. Early detection and prompt treatment will provide people with the best possible chance of remission.
There may be a host of reasons why an individual develops Myositis, it is usually down to a number of factors both genetic and environmental, and nothing a particular individual has done themselves. Most doctors think that Myositis may be an autoimmune disease. Other doctors feel Myositis may be started by a virus or the combination of a viral infection and defective immune system.
There are a number of ways to treat myositis, although there are no specific treatments for it.
As with most autoimmune diseases, Myositis seems to enjoy company. Overlap Syndrome is where a patient is diagnosed with two or more autoimmune diseases such as Scleroderma or Lupus.
The treatment of overlap syndrome is mainly based on the use of corticosteroids and immunosuppressants.
This information has been taken from NHS Choices, Myositis UK and Understanding Myositis.org.