Myopathy is a term for a skeletal muscle disorder that affects the muscle directly. The Encyclopedia Britannica notes that muscular dystrophy is a hereditary myopathy. Infections, alcohol, nutritional deficiencies, steroid hormones, and medications – the statins used for high cholesterol are one notable example – can also cause myopathy.
About Myopathy
Myopathy is strictly a muscular rather than a neurological problem. However, the condition can affect nerves and circulation as well as muscle tissue, and treatment is often directed toward increasing blood supply. Muscles may become tight, weak or atrophied and are prone to spasm. Scar tissue typically forms in the muscles, which affects muscle tone and can cause misalignment in the spine and other joints. Over time, the muscles become weak and begin to waste away.
Symptoms of Myopathy
Any area of the body may be affected by myopathy. Myopathy in the hips and legs may cause gait changes, while myopathies in the arms and hands can affect muscle strength and control. These symptoms often interfere with activities of daily living and can be very frustrating. Muscle stiffness is one of the most common signs of a myopathy. Pain in the muscles – as opposed to joint pain – is also common. Muscle spasms and cramps may occur as well. Eventually, atrophy of the involved muscles occurs.
How Chiropractic Helps
One of the most important aspects of treatment is to stimulate the muscles and help keep joints flexible. In addition to manual spinal and joint adjustments, a chiropractor may use a tool called an Activator to affect muscles directly. Massage is another way to increase circulation and break up scar tissue. Many patients find that multi-dimensional treatment, such as combining chiropractic, physical therapy and acupuncture – are the most helpful. If you have symptoms of myopathy, it's important to schedule an appointment for an assessment. This is a chronic condition and often requires regular therapy to prevent disability. Please contact us today.