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What Are the Different Types of Skeletal Muscle Diseases?

The human muscular system.
Cerebral palsy is a common type of skeletal muscle disease.
Skeletal muscle is one of three types of muscles in the body.
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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 11 April 2014
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There are a variety of different skeletal muscle diseases, each of which carries its own unique set of symptoms. Some of the most common diseases affecting the skeletal muscles include muscular dystrophy, fibromyalgia, and cerebral palsy. Additional diseases of the skeletal muscle include amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and myasthenia gravis. A doctor will likely order a series of blood or imaging tests in order to rule out more serious medical conditions and to aid in the diagnosis of these disorders. If the patient or caregiver has any questions or concerns about the diagnosis of specific skeletal muscle diseases, a doctor or other medical professional should be consulted.

Muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy are among the most frequently diagnosed skeletal muscle diseases among children. Characterized my a wasting away of the muscles, muscular dystrophy can cause varying degrees of mobility problems as well as heart or lung issues. Physical therapy and the use of supportive devices such as braces or wheelchairs are standard treatment options for those who are diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. Cerebral palsy affects muscle tone and may lead to deformities involving the muscles or joints. Prescription medications, physical therapy, or surgical intervention may be used to treat cerebral palsy.

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Fibromyalgia is more common among women, although the reason for this is not clearly understood. Muscle pain, fatigue, and depression are among the most frequently reported symptoms of this illness. Treatment for fibromyalgia can be a bit complex and typically involves a combination of prescription medications, lifestyle adjustments, and physical therapy.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also referred to as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease, is one of the most debilitating skeletal muscle diseases. This is a progressive disease that occurs when the motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord become damaged. Over time, this leads to a lack of communication between the brain and the muscles, causing the patient to lose the ability to control muscle movements. ALS is considered a terminal illness, although medications and technological advances may be able to prolong the lives of may patients with this disease.

Myasthenia gravis is an incurable disease that develops as a result of the breakdown of communication between the muscles and nerves of the body, leading to a loss of muscle control. Mobility issues are common, and the ability to breathe or swallow may also become affected. While prescription medications are often useful for treating symptoms of myasthenia gravis, surgery or other medical procedures are frequently needed as well.

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Discuss this Article

literally45
Post 3

My cousin has just been diagnosed with Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy. What's the difference between regular muscular dystrophy and Limb-girdle?

All I know is that my cousin has a lot of muscle weakness and pain. He can only walk short distances.

ddljohn
Post 2

@MikeMason-- I have fibromyalgia. Diagnosing skeletal muscle diseases can be very difficult and this certainly applies to fibromyalgia. I thought that I had chronic fatigue syndrome for a very long time. When I moved to a different state and saw a new doctor, she told me that I have all the symptoms of fibromyalgia and asked me to have blood tests to rule out any other conditions that might be giving me fatigue.

They checked my blood cell levels and iron levels an they all came back normal. My thyroid hormone levels also came back normal. This is how I was diagnosed. Diagnosing fibromyalgia is completely based on symptoms and the ruling out of other conditions.

stoneMason
Post 1
I've been dealing with a lot of muscle aches and pains, difficulty sleeping and exhaustion for the past six months. Could I have fibromyalgia?

Does anyone here have fibromyalgia? How were you diagnosed?

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