Polymyositis Specialist

Valerius Medical Group & Research Center

Rheumatologists located in Los Alamitos, CA

Although it’s uncommon, polymyositis can make regular daily activities, such as rising from a chair and swallowing food, difficult. Nathaniel Neal, MD, and Rebekah Neal, MD, both board-certified rheumatologists at Valerius Medical Group & Research Center, have a long history of treating patients with polymyositis and other inflammatory diseases. If you live near Los Alamitos Long Beach, CA, and have unexplained muscle weakness, contact the office today or schedule your appointment online.

Polymyositis Q & A

What is polymyositis?

Polymyositis is an inflammatory disease that attacks the muscles on both sides of the body, causing weakness. It often impacts muscles closest to the trunk, including:

  • Hips
  • Thighs
  • Shoulders
  • Upper arms
  • Neck

When you have polymyositis, you may experience difficulty climbing stairs, rising from a chair, lifting objects, or even reaching your hands above your head. These symptoms get worse with time and the earlier you start treatment, the better your results.

Polymyositis is often diagnosed in adults in their 30s, 40s, or 50s and is more common in African-Americans and women.

Are there conditions associated with polymyositis?

While polymyositis is an inflammatory disease, it’s also considered an autoimmune disorder as it appears the body turns on itself and starts to destroy its own muscle mass. That causes a range of problems and issues, including aspiration pneumonia and difficulty breathing.

It’s often associated with a range of other health issues, such as:

  • Raynaud’s disease
  • Connective tissue diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Lung diseases
  • Cancer

How does a rheumatologist treat polymyositis?

Although there’s no cure for polymyositis, rheumatologists like Dr. Nathaniel and Dr. Rebekah can improve your symptoms by helping you increase muscle strength and function.  To determine the correct course of treatment, your rheumatologist may perform testing to ensure you have polymyositis. They may administer:

  • Blood testing to look for muscle enzymes
  • Electromyography
  • MRI
  • Muscle biopsy

Once your rheumatologist at Valerius Medical Group & Research Center diagnoses your problem, they may prescribe medication to help treat and reduce your symptoms and strengthen your muscles. Common medications include:

  • Corticosteroids
  • Corticosteroid-sparing agents
  • Rituxan®

Dr. Nathaniel or Dr. Rebekah may also recommend physical therapy to improve muscle function. If the condition progresses, they may suggest speech therapy or a dietetic assessment to improve chewing and swallowing.

If you have unexplained muscle weakness, don’t wait to seek help. The earlier you begin polymyositis treatment, the better your results will be. Contact Valerius Medical Group & Research Center today to learn how they can help you. Call the office or schedule your initial consultation online.