Muscular System Diseases

Muscular system diseases can leave you weak or paralyzed. The muscles in your body help you move, stay warm and perform your daily activities. This health guide helps you understand several types of diseases that may affect your muscular system.

  1. Muscular dystrophy: Muscular dystrophy is a group of over 30 conditions and diseases that affect the muscles. Although most of these occur in childhood, there are some that form in older adults. In people with these diseases, muscles become weak and frail. Motor functions and movement are impaired. Treatment for muscular dystrophy diseases include physical and drug therapy. There is currently no cure for this type of muscular system disease.
  2. Polymyositis: This disease affects the connective tissue within the muscle. Polymyositis is more common in African American women between the ages of 30 and 50.  The symptoms of this disease includes muscle weakness, joint pain and fatigue. These symtoms come on gradually; making it difficult to know exactly when the disease began. Treatment involves drug therapy and physical therapy.
  3. Lou Gehrig's Disease: Lou Gehrig's Disease causes the muscles to shut down completely after the brain stops sending messages to them. The neurons in the spinal cord and brain begin to shrink. They continue on this course until they no longer exists. The person with the disease becomes paralyze. It may take several months before physicians diagnose Lou Gehrig's Disease. Test include an electromyogram. This test checks for nerve damage in the muscle tissue. Other tests include x-rays, spinal taps and magnetic resonance imaging. Treatment requires intense physical therapy, mobile devices and medications.
  4. Metabolic muscle diseases: Muscular system diseases that affect the way your body uses energy are called metabolic muscle diseases. Your metabolism turns food into energy. This system gives your entire body the fuel it needs to function. When muscles can't metabolize this energy, they become weak. Pain is felt in the muscles due to the build up of metabolized energy. Treatment includes changing the way the person eats and exercises. 

There are hundreds of muscular system diseases. Each disease requires special treatments and medications. It is best to speak with a healthcare physician if you have any type of problem with your muscles.

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