Myopathy

South Valley Neurology

Neurologists & Pediatric Neurologists located in Morgan Hill, CA & San Jose, CA

Myopathy is a common neuromuscular condition that causes muscle cramps, stiffness, and spasms. There’s no cure for myopathy, but with early intervention and professional treatment, it’s possible to minimize discomfort and maintain your normal quality of life. At South Valley Neurology, the team treats both hereditary and acquired myopathies. Call the office in San Jose, California, for pediatric care or the office in Morgan Hill, California, for teenagers and adults, or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment today.

Myopathy Q & A

What is myopathy?

Myopathy refers to a group of conditions characterized by muscle weakness and dysfunction. Over time, myopathy causes your muscles to atrophy, making it difficult to work, exercise, or perform other routine tasks. 

The symptoms and severity of myopathy vary from person to person. Some people experience only minor discomfort; others develop progressive symptoms that result in immobility and the need for complex interventions like surgery.

What are the types of myopathy?

The team at South Valley Neurology treats all types of myopathy but focuses on two in particular:

Hereditary myopathy

Hereditary myopathy refers to genetic disorders that you inherit from your parents. This type of myopathy affects your skeletal muscle function and occurs due to mutations in the genes that control muscle growth and function. 

People with hereditary myopathy often experience skeletal and facial abnormalities, developmental delays in motor skills, and progressive muscle weakness. 

Acquired myopathy

Acquired myopathy refers to muscle dysfunction and weakness caused by abnormalities in the myofibrils. Myofibrils are muscle cells that make up your muscle tissue. Acquired myopathy can occur for a variety of reasons, including nutritional deficiencies, trauma, or taking certain prescription medications like statins or corticosteroids.

What are the symptoms of myopathy?

Common symptoms of myopathy include:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Fever
  • Malaise
  • Absence of sensations like hot, cold, or pain

Some people with myopathy also experience dermatological symptoms, including scaly patches of skin on the elbows, knuckles, and knees.

How is myopathy diagnosed?

The team at South Valley Neurology diagnoses myopathy by conducting a physical exam, asking questions about your symptoms and lifestyle, and reviewing your medical history. 

Afterward, they order electromyography (EMG), which measures the electrical charges produced by your muscles and nerves, and laboratory tests. There are several blood tests that can detect elevated levels of various muscle enzymes and antibodies.  

How is myopathy treated?

Treatment for myopathy depends on the type you have and its specific causes. The team at South Valley Neurology typically recommends healthy lifestyle changes like eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and keeping your stress levels in check. 

In addition, you might benefit from immune-suppressant agents, intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), or physical therapy. Some people benefit from bracing and supportive medical equipment like crutches.

To receive comprehensive care for myopathy, schedule an appointment at South Valley Neurology. Book a consultation online, or call the office to speak with a caring staff member today.