The 5 Most Common Muscle Disorders
Numerous types of muscle disorders can affect any of the more than 600 muscles in the human body, causing pain, weakness, and even paralysis. Muscle disorders may be caused by injuries, inflammation, infections, and diseases. Genetic abnormalities may also cause muscle diseases such as muscular dystrophy.
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Types of Muscles in the Human Body
Humans have three types of muscles, namely smooth, cardiac, and skeletal muscles. Smooth muscles are typically found inside internal organs such as the intestines, as well as in the blood vessels. The heart, however, is the only organ that has cardiac muscles. Of the three muscle types, the skeletal muscles are the only ones that are voluntarily controlled.
Common Disorders of the Muscular System
- Muscle weakness. Muscle weakness occurs when a muscle does not fully contract or expand despite full effort. Exercise-induced exhaustion may cause muscle weakness. However, persistent muscle weakness may be due to an underlying health condition such as muscular dystrophy, an abnormally inactive thyroid, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Muscle pain. Typical causes of muscular pain include tension and stress. Systemic muscle pain, on the one hand, affects the muscles in the entire body and are typically caused by an illness or infection. Systemic muscle pain may also be caused by autoimmune disorders such as lupus.
- Myositis. When muscles are inflamed, the condition is referred to as myositis. Among the various autoimmune conditions that cause inflammation through the entire body, those that can cause severe myositis to include dermatomyositis and polymyositis. The flu virus is another common cause of myositis.
- Muscular dystrophy. Caused by genetic abnormalities, muscular dystrophy results in loss of muscle mass and strength. Mutations in the gene interfere with the normal production of muscle proteins, causing the muscles to waste away. More than 30 genetic diseases have been identified as potential causes of muscular dystrophy.
- Fibromyalgia. A person with fibromyalgia will suffer from musculoskeletal pain as well as sleep problems, memory impairment, fatigue, and mood problems. Fibromyalgia-induced pain is often described as a persistent widespread dull ache that lasts for several months.