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What are the Most Common Muscle Disorders?

By Licia Morrow
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Some common muscle disorders include sprains, strains, TMJ, fibromyalgia, and tendinitis. A sprain is caused by the stretching or tearing of a ligament, the tissues that hold bones together at joints. Sprains can be caused by falls, twists, and force injuries, with ankle and wrist sprains being the most common. Sprains are one of the most common muscle disorders, with symptoms ranging from pain, tenderness, swelling, bruising, and stiffness. Some people complain of not being able to move the joint affected by the sprain.

A strain, on the other hand, is a torn or stretched muscle or tendon, the connection tissues between muscle and bone. Twists and pulls can often lead to a muscle strain, with back and hamstring strains being the most common. These types of issues often appear during sports, but can also develop over time. Strains are usually accompanied by any one of the following symptoms: spasms, swelling, and the inability to move the strained area.

The treatment for sprains and strains is a two-part process. First the sufferer should rest, ice, compress, and elevate the affected area. Then, sufferers should resume movement at a slow pace, increase muscle strength to defend against injury, and alternate activities.

Disorders of the temporomandibular joint, the joint that connects the mandible to the head bone, are usually referred to as TMJ. This includes several disorders that cause discomfort, pain, and a lack of function in the jaw and jaw muscle movement. While these disorders do not tend to be permanent or a sign of serious problems, those suffering from TMJ disorders often feel pain in the chewing muscles, popping and clicking in the jaw area, and jaw stiffness. While most TMJ cases go away with no treatment, those with long-term problems have found treatments such as ice application, soft food diets, and avoidance of large open mouth movements, such as gum chewing, to be helpful.

Fibromyalgia is one of the more common muscle disorders that is associated with painful tenderness at points around the body, fatigue, and stiffness. Additionally sufferers often experience sleep problems, tingling of the hands and feet, headaches, and memory loss. There is no specific cause for this disorder, although trauma to the body could be one possible cause. Muscle disorders such as fibromyalgia can be treated with a variety of drugs that may include anti-depressants, pregabalin, and other pain relievers.

Tendinitis can be caused by injury, activity or rheumatoid arthritis, and is characterized by inflammation of a tendon or tendons, the chords that connect muscles to bones. Most people suffering from tendinitis experience pain and tenderness in one of the following areas: shoulders, knees, hips, heels, wrists, or elbows. Treatments for this group of muscle disorders include alternative exercise programs, stretching, ice, medicine and rest. Some sufferers experience success with treatments such as steroid injections, physical therapies, and surgery.

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Discussion Comments
By BrickBack — On Feb 15, 2011

Sunshine31 - I knew someone that was diagnosed with MS. She was my sister's assistant. She was 26 at the time and it was hard news to hear at that age. She is taking it one day at a time.

I have to say that another muscle weakness disorder that alarms me is muscular dystrophy. In this condition the body cannot create the necessary protein that is needed to build muscle.

So over time the muscles turn to fat and eventually the person is immobile.

This is one of many genetic muscle disorders that also receives a lot of attention.

Every year during Labor Day weekend, Jerry Lewis offers a weekend telethon to raise money for muscular dystrophy.

Each year he raises more money than the previous year. I think it would be great to find a cure so that many people afflicted with this disease can walk again.

By sunshine31 — On Feb 15, 2011

I just wanted to add that when I think about neurological muscle disorders I usually think about Multiple Sclerosis.

This is a disease that creates muscles spasms and problems with coordination along with reduced cognition and memory.

Montel Williams has developed the condition and has drawn a lot of attention to finding a cure for this disorder. He says that daily exercise helps him keep his muscles healthy and improve the quality of his life.

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