All forms of myositis involve chronic muscle inflammation. This almost always results in muscle weakness, frequent falling, swollen feet and legs and muscular and joint pain. Early signs of the condition include:
- Difficulty getting up from a chair
- Difficulty climbing stairs
- Difficulty lifting the arms
- Fatigue after standing or walking a long time
- Trouble swallowing or breathing
The muscle and skin inflammation associated with dermatomyositis can cause a distinctive, patchy rash on the eyelids, cheeks, nose, back or upper chest, elbows, knees and knuckles. Sometimes hardened bumps develop under the skin. The rash is often followed by muscle weakness.
Causes and Risk Factors
The cause of myositis is unknown. These diseases can affect people of any age. Most children who get the disease are between five and 15 years old, and most adults are 30 to 60 years old.
Women are more likely to get the myositis than men.