Muscle pain, muscle weakness and paralysis can be signs of serious muscular problems. MedlinePlus says that muscle disorders can occur as a result of injury, overuse, infections, medications, genetics and inflammation. Muscular system diseases require various forms of treatment approaches.
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The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) says that myotonia is a medical problem in which the muscles relax slowly after contraction or stimulation.
Specific symptoms of myotonia include trouble releasing a grip on a certain object such as a cup or spoon, trouble walking and difficulty getting up from a chair.
Myotonia can be inherited or it can just develop over time. Cold weather can serve as a trigger for myotonia. Alterations in specific sodium and potassium channels that control muscle contraction and relaxation are to blame for myotonia.
The NINDS says that treatment for myotonia includes taking medications such as quinine, mexiletine, phenytoin and other anticonvulsant medications to help manage myotonia. Physical therapy can also be utilized to help in strengthening muscles.
Mitochondria refer to tiny structures in cells that provide energy. According to the NINDS, mitochondrial myopathies refer to a neuromuscular disease in which there is damage to the mitochondria.
Specific symptoms of mitochondrial myopathies include muscle weakness, heart rhythm abnormalities, heart failure, deafness and blindness. Mitochondrial myopathies can also lead to vomiting, drooping eyelids, seizures and dementia. The NINDS says that muscle cramping is rare. A headache, nausea and difficulty breathing are additional symptoms of mitochondrial myopathies.
As in myotonia, no specific treatment exists for mitochondrial myopathies. Physical therapy can help maintain range of motion and supplements such as riboflavin, coenzyme Q and carnitine might help manage mitochondrial myopathies.
Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic disorder affecting one or more muscle groups. According to StopPain.org, produced by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, myofascial pain syndrome is characterized by burning, aching and nagging pain. Sometimes pain can move from the muscle to other regions of the body such as the shoulder. This is known as referred pain.
Physical therapy and trigger point injections in which anesthesia is injected into the muscle can help manage myofascial pain syndrome. Other treatment options include corticosteroid or botulism toxin injections and massage therapy.