Inflammatory Myopathies

Also known as: polymyositis, dermatomyositis, inclusion body myositis, necrotizing autoimmune myopathy

What are inflammatory myopathies?

Myopathies are diseases that impact the muscles. An inflammatory myopathy is a disease that is chronic and involves inflammation, muscle weakness and sometimes muscle pain. The four main types are polymyositis, dermatomyositis, inclusion body myositis and necrotizing autoimmune myopathy. 

What causes inflammatory myopathies?

The cause of inflammatory myopathies isn’t entirely clear. They are thought to be autoimmune disorders in which the body’s immune system attacks its own muscles and tissues. Allergic reactions or bodily infections can also contribute to inflammatory myopathies. 

What are the symptoms of inflammatory myopathies?

The primary symptoms of all inflammatory myopathies is muscle inflammation and weakness that grows progressively worse over time. Muscle pain, fatigue, trouble walking or standing and difficulty swallowing or breathing are other potential symptoms.   

How can inflammatory myopathies affect children?

The most common inflammatory myopathy that affects children is dermatomyositis. With this form, a skin rash is frequently present along with the muscle inflammation and weakness.  

What are inflammatory myopathy care options?

Physical therapy, heat therapy, exercise, orthopedic devices and medications can all help people live with the symptoms of inflammatory myopathies. 

Reviewed by: Migvis Monduy, MD

This page was last updated on: September 24, 2019 12:41 PM