Myopathy

black and white image of a man holding his lower back in pain

Myopathy refers to a group of muscle diseases that are caused by muscular dysfunction that results in muscle weakness and waste. It is important to recognize that while some myopathic conditions can be caused by reduced nerve supply or excess nerve supply, the disorders do not stem from a neurological problem. Rather, the issue lies solely within the muscles.

This does not mean that areas like the spine will not be affected. The muscles surrounding the spine can become weak, tight or atrophied and go into spasm. This can cause scar tissue and a modification in muscle tone, making myopathy one of five major interrelated components associated with what's called vertebral subluxation complex, a set of signs and symptoms that describe what occurs when the spinal bones lose their normal motion and position.

Myopathy Types and Causes

Myopathies vary by types, and some may be present from birth (congenital) while others present later on in life (acquired). Those that are congenital may be the result of a genetic defect, an inflammatory disorder, endocrine problems or a chronic immune deficiency. Acquired types, in contrast, may be due to drug side effects or chemical poisoning.

Myopathy Symptoms and Regions Affected

Regardless of which category or type, there are a number of general symptoms, including:

  • Stiffness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Cramps
  • Atrophy

The areas of the body that are affected vary, but may include the:

  • Hips and legs
  • Face
  • Arms and forearms
  • Legs
  • Trunk
  • Hands
  • Spine

Can Chiropractic Treatment Help?

The symptoms of myopathy can be painful and incapacitating, but they can be alleviated by undergoing chiropractic treatments. In addition, combining chiropractic treatments with acupuncture and physical therapy may provide further relief. Taking a multidimensional approach can mean the irritating symptoms triggered by this muscular disease can be mitigated, because the muscles in the body are being addressed through a group of efforts, each of which are designed to stimulate the muscles in different ways.

For instance, massage — a type of manual therapy often used in chiropractic treatment — uses a hands-on technique to knead, strip or rub the soft tissues. Pressure may be soft or it may be deep, but its purpose is to increase circulation and blood flow, ease muscle tension, reduce pain, relax muscles, break up scar tissue and redistribute fluid.

Or, if the muscles surrounding the spine become weak, tight or atrophied and go into spasm, the resulting scar tissue can change muscle tone. This will require multiple spinal adjustments.

If you have a myopathic disorder, contact your chiropractor to better understand how they can help.

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  • "I have had back problems on and off for the past forty years, so I figured I’d just have to live with it like my M.D. told me. I went to see Dr. Bocchino with the hope that he could reduce some of the pain and stiffness that was messing with my golf swing. Well, I wasn’t disappointed. I felt better after the very first treatment. I continue to see Dr. Bocchino and only have minimal stiffness after playing a round of golf and my SCGA handicap index has dropped from 13 to 9!"
    Patrick C.
  • "Four years ago I fell and hurt my back. I was seen immediately by an M.D., given therapy and sent home with a prescription for pain relievers. Since then I have suffered continual back pain and been in agony at times. Upon examining me, Dr. Bocchino immediately discovered the cause - I had three previous compression fractures in my spine. I have been undergoing treatment with Dr. Bocchino for this and am now functioning well enough to be able to swim, ride a bike, sail and above all else sneeze without blinding searing pain!!!"
    Gene M