A muscle disorder includes patterns of weakness, electromyogram (EMG) findings, or biopsy results that suggest a muscle problem. The muscle disorder can be inherited, such as muscular dystrophy, or acquired, such as alcoholic or steroid myopathy.
The medical name for muscle disorder is myopathy.
Myopathic changes; Myopathy; Muscle problem
The main symptom is weakness.
Other symptoms include cramps and stiffness.
Exams and Tests
Blood tests sometimes show abnormally high muscle enzymes. If a muscle disorder might also affect other family members, genetic testing may be done.
When someone has symptoms and signs of a muscle disorder, tests such as an electromyogram, muscle biopsy, or both can confirm whether it is a myopathy. A muscle biopsy examines a tissue sample under a microscope to confirm disease. Sometimes, a blood test to check for a genetic disorder is all that is needed based on someone's symptoms and family history.
Treatment depends on the cause. It usually includes:
- Physical therapy
- Preventing the condition from getting worse by treating the underlying condition causing the muscle weakness
- Surgery (sometimes)
Your health care provider can tell you more about your condition and treatment options.
Borg K, Ensrud E. Myopathies. In: Frontera WR, Silver JK, Rizzo TD, eds. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 135.
Selcen D. Muscle diseases. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 421.