Polymyositis – Signs & Symptoms

Polymyositis – Signs & Symptoms


(calm music) – The most common symptoms
are weakness in the shoulder and hip girdle. Frequently, patients will tell me they can’t reach over their
head the way they could or it’s difficult to do so like getting something out
of a cabinet or a cupboard. Also, difficult to climb stairs. Difficult standing up
from a lower seated chair or getting up from a toilet seat. Generally, it’s not painful
but occasionally it can be but most of the time it’s
a bit of an insidious, painless weakness. I think that I would say
that anyone who suspects that something may not be
quite right with their body should always seek the
counsel of a physician. For polymyositis, because the symptoms can
be initially fairly subtle, patients can ascribe it
to a host of other reasons for feeling the way they do. So anything that persists
more than a few days or weeks should certainly be
investigated by a physician. So anyone having weakness
in the shoulders, weakness in the hips, inability to exercise
the way they could before should seek further medical attention. In severe cases, patients
actually can’t physically walk. They become chair bound
and need assistance with every activity. Obviously, if the disease
has progressed to that point, many times patients are even hospitalized for further workup, they
should always see a physician before it gets to that point of course. Polymyositis like all of the
autoimmune muscle diseases do flare. What makes them flare? We don’t know but the flare symptoms usually are the same symptoms that brought one to the
doctor to begin with which would be shoulder
weakness, hip weakness, just inability to use the muscles or have exercise intolerance
just as they presented to you when they first became sick. Patients often ask their doctor what have they done to cause a flare and I think most of the time there’s been nothing specifically. Some of the things that may cause flares are stressful situations
be it either psychological or actual physical trauma. Patients that undergo surgery
or have a stressful situation may notice that they may
have more flare symptoms around those times. (calm music)

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