Muscular System Diseases


Muscle diseases are those disorders which affect the muscle system of our body. Disorder and diseases that are a result of direct abnormal function of muscles are known as primary muscle diseases, and those which can be outlined as manifestations or symptoms of nerve disorders or other problems cannot be outlined under the same category. Since muscles as well as nerves which supply muscle work as a functional unit, the diseases of these systems cause paralysis and muscular atrophy or wasting.

Some of the common muscular diseases are mentioned below:

Muscular Dystrophy

It is a bunch of diseases which causes loss of mass in muscles and progressive weakness. In this condition of muscular dystrophy, there is an interference of abnormal genes with protein production required to form healthy muscles.

Many different types of muscular dystrophy are there in existence. Some common symptoms surface in childhood, particularly in males. Many types do not float up until childhood.

Many people with this disease may lose their ability to walk. Others may have problems with swallowing and breathing. There is no cure available for muscular dystrophy. However, therapy and medications can slow down the track of disease.

Cerebral palsy

It is a blanket term for impairment or loss of motor function. This disease is a result of brain damage. This damage is actually caused by abnormal development of brain, which occurs during the development of a child’s brain- during birth, before birth, or just after birth.

It affects muscle control, body movement, muscle coordination, reflex, muscle tone, balance and posture.

Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva

It is a muscular disorder which happens when connective tissue like ligaments, tendons, etc. and muscular tissue are gradually substituted by bones. The process is called ossification. The bone is formed outside the skeleton that obstructs movement. The process usually comes to notice in the early childhood. It starts with neck and shoulders, proceeds down in the body and towards the limbs.

Many other problems also come to notice with this disorder. If the movement of mouth is restricted, the patient may experience problem in eating and speaking, malnutrition due to eating problems. The patient may encounter difficulty in breathing in case of bone expansion around rib cage, etc.


It is an inflammatory disease, not very common to be seen, outlined by distinctive rashes on skin and weakness in muscles. It can affect both children and adults. In adults, the disease appears between 40 to 60 years. In children, it occurs between 5 to 15 years. However, it is more commonly seen in women than men. Till now, no cure has been developed for dermatomyositis. However, there might be episodes of remission, and the symptoms may improve spontaneously. You can get the rashes of skin cleared with medication and regain muscle function and strength.

Compartment Syndromedownload (3)

It occurs when you experience excessive pressure building up inside an enclosed space area in the body. Usually, it is caused by swelling or bleeding after you get injured. The high pressure is very dangerous in compartment syndrome, which hinders the blood flow from and to the affected tissues. If it happens, it may call for an emergency surgery for preventing permanent injury.

Myasthenia Gravis

It is a condition which chronically causes muscles to weaken and tire easily. Any of the smallest and biggest muscles of your body may become tired due to Myasthenia Gravis. For instance, if the patient’s jaw muscles become tired, it may interfere with their capacity to chew food. The patient has to take rest at frequent intervals to regain strength and resume eating. This expanding and contracting of muscles, getting worse with use and recovering with rest, is a typical symptom of this disease. There are periods of exacerbation and remission also.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

It is a progressive neurodegenerative disease which affects the nerve cells of the spinal cord and the brain. It causes weakness in muscles and affects physical functions of the body. It is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, named after the popular baseball player diagnosed with this disease. ALS causes nerve cells to break down gradually and die. The causes of this disease are not known. It sometimes occurs due to inheritance as well.

The patients experience weakness in a leg or arm and muscle twitching, and sometimes slurred speech. It may even lead to death in extreme cases.

Mitochondrial Myopathies

This disease affects a particular area of the cells of the body, called mitochondria. Mitochondria are the tiny factory of energy found in almost all cells in our body. The disease which causes both neurological and muscular problems in the body is called mitochondrial encephalomyopathy (affecting the brain). Some common symptoms of this disease are exercise intolerance, muscle weakness, problems of coordination and balance, learning deficits and seizures.


This syndrome is caused due to muscle injury caused directly or indirectly. The main cause of this disease is the death of muscle fibers. These dead fibers are released into the bloodstream. Some serious implications of this condition include renal failure/ kidney failure because the kidneys fail to remove waste and the urine gets concentrated. In some uncommon cases, it may even lead to death.


It is a rare inflammatory disease which causes weakness in muscles and affects both sides of the body. Under the effect of this disease, you may find it problematic to get up from a seated posture, climb stairs, reach overhead and lift objects.

People are usually affected by this disease around the age of 30 to 50 years. People with black skin and women are particularly affected by Polymyositis than other races and males. Though there is no treatment for this disease, therapy and medications help to improve strength in muscles and their function.


The major characteristic of this disorder is the extensive musculoskeletal pain, which is also accompanied by sleep, fatigue, mood issues and memory. Fibromyalgia amplifies the sensations of pain by modifying the way brain deals with the pain signals. After the patient undergoes a surgery, surgery, physical trauma or major psychological stress; symptoms begin to surface. In many cases, a gradual accumulation of symptoms occurs with no triggering of a single event.


It is a neuromuscular condition which hampers the relaxation of muscles. Any group of muscles may be affected by it. The patient needs to make repeated efforts to calm down the muscles to improve the condition, may face difficulty in lifting objects and getting up from a seated posture. They may also be seen walking with an awkward, stiff gait. The disease is caused due to the abnormal functioning of muscle membrane.

Myofascial Pain Syndrome

This chronic condition affects the connective tissues covering the muscles (fascia). This may affect a group of muscles or a single muscle as well. In some cases, the myofascial pain generator is present in some other part of the body and the pain occurs somewhere else. Doctors say that the actual place of strain or injury brings about the growth of a trigger point which causes the twinge in other areas of the body. The condition is called referred pain.

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  1. I’d rather you say african american because black skin is incorrect, many other races have people with darker skin (ex: Filipinos and Latinos)…..then you said white people??

    • Unfortunately, African-American would not work in this case since it is more than just Americans of color who are affected by these diseases. It’s similar to the way Acadians have higher risks of a degenerative eye condition–you could say French-Canadian, but not all Canadians carry the genes, and many Acadians moved to other areas. In this case, the disease occurs at higher rates for people who identify as black. It unfortunately affects people across the world in Africa, the United States, Europe and everywhere that people who carry those genetic markers live. For brevity’s sake and accuracy, the term “black” was used because African-American is only a subset of the people affected by this problem.