In this section we shall cover some of the common muscular disorders. Diseases of the muscle are referred to as myopathies. Myopathies classically present with proximal muscle weakness (meaning that the proximal muscles of the arms and legs are affected preferentially). Patients usually complain of difficulty in getting up from a low lying chair or the toilet seat (frequently they have to use their arms to push themselves off the chair). Proximal muscle weakness in the arms makes it difficult for them to comb their hair or to reach for things above shoulder height. Myopathies may be painful (patients may complain of dull aching pain in the muscles) or they may be completely painless. In long standing myopathies the muscle bulk gets lost due to disuse (this is referred to as atrophy of the muscles).
Classification of myopathies:
1) Inflammatory myopathies: Polymyositis, Dematomyositis, Inclusion body myositis.
2) Toxic-metabolic myopathies: that due to drugs like statins (cholesterol lowering drugs), colchicine, antiretrovirals (drugs used to treat HIV/AIDS), certain heavy metals etc.
3) Congenital myopathies (myopathies that present at or near birth).
The Mind-Brain Connection:
"You can have a healthy mind but an unhealthy brain and you can have a healthy brain but an unhealthy mind"