Muscle disease is an umbrella term that includes adverse conditions of the muscles themselves or the nerves, connective tissues and other systems that run along and function in conjunction with muscles. Read the following write up on muscle disease symptoms to know more.
Any disease or disorder that afflicts the muscles themselves or the nerves that run along or in close proximity of the muscles come within the scope of Neuromuscular Diseases. On the other hand, any disease or disorder that affects the functioning capabilities of muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons come under the purview of Musculoskeletal Disorders. In other words, the name depends upon what other physical system(s), apart from the muscles themselves, are affected such that the said affliction has significant bearings on the functionality of muscles. All these conditions are collectively known as muscle diseases or muscle disorders.
Going by these definitions, there are a number of diseases and disorders that can be included under the aegis of muscular diseases. Such examples would include fibromyalgia, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, paralysis, multiple sclerosis, myalgia, myasthenia gravis, muscular dystrophies, soft tissue sarcoma, polymyalgia rheumatica, muscular cramps, spasticity, polymyositis, cancer of connective tissues (rhabdomyosarcoma), etc. These diseases can be in the form of inflammatory disorders, degenerative disorders, metabolic disorders and autoimmune muscular disorders. Let’s take a look at some common symptoms in each category.
Degenerative Muscle Disease Symptoms
Degenerative diseases of muscles cause degeneration and, eventually, loss of muscle cells and tissues, thereby leading to a drastic decrease in muscle mass and strength. Some common symptoms of degenerative muscular diseases include muscular weakness and fatigue, difficulty in supporting weight and moving limbs, difficulty in simple activities such as breathing, chewing, swallowing, etc. Tremors in hands and feet may also be present in many cases. Parkinson’s disease is a good example of a neuromuscular degenerative disease.
Inflammatory Muscle Disorder Symptoms
Inflammatory muscle disorders, as the name suggests, are conditions wherein muscles, ligaments, tendons or soft tissue at joints get inflamed. The common symptoms include muscular pain and weakness, stiffness, muscular fatigue, loss of muscle mass, etc. Sometimes, rashes or other skin disorders and discolorations on the skin over the affected muscle or joint can also occur. Prominent examples of inflammatory muscle disorders are Dermatomyositis, Inclusion body myositis and Muscle rheumatism.
Metabolic Muscle Disease Symptoms
Metabolic diseases of muscles occur as a result of muscular cells being unable to produce energy from dietary nutrition. In other words, the mitochondria in muscular cells does not get a proper and regular supply of cellular fuel due to the inability of cells to properly process nutrition to turn them into the right kind of fuel that the mitochondria can use. This leads to an unhealthy accumulation of energy molecules in muscles which can injure or damage surrounding cells. The most common and prominent symptom is muscular weakness and fatigue. Some notable examples of metabolic muscular disease are Pompe’s disease, Cori’s or Forbes’ disease, Tarui’s disease and McArdle’s disease.
Autoimmune Muscle Disorder Symptoms
Autoimmune diseases are caused by an overactive immune system which turns on your own body and targets various biological systems and affects their functions adversely. The symptoms differ depending upon which part of the neuromusculoskeletal infrastructure they afflict. Some notable examples include Multiple sclerosis, Myositis, Dermatomyositis, Inclusion body myositis, Sharp’s syndrome and Muscle rheumatism.
Tumors and various cancerous growths can also affect the neuromusculoskeletal system, thereby robbing a significant amount of muscular and related neural functionalities. Tumors that afflict muscles belong to the soft tissue sarcoma category. While some growths are benign (such as leiomyoma and rhabdomyoma) and hardly pose any health or mortality risk to the host body, some malignant forms such as leiomyosarcoma and rhabdomyosarcoma can assume life-threatening proportions, if not attended to in their early stages of growth. Tumors or cancerous growths of muscle tissues themselves are not very common though, as muscles do not have labile cells that keep multiplying non stop throughout the host’s lifetime.