Neuromuscular disorders are a group of orthopedic conditions that stem from nerve issues within the muscles. Many of these are treatable and manageable with the right care and management by an experienced doctor. Each of these disorders can be characterized by certain symptoms, and fall into the subcategories of muscle disorders, junction disorders, and neuropathy.
Neuromuscular disorders that begin in the muscles themselves are separated into two categories: acquired and hereditary. These types of disorders range in severity and tend to become worse over time. This is not a conclusive list, but describes several neuromuscular disorders of different kinds.
This is a neuromuscular disorder that is inherited at birth and progresses quickly over the course of the patient’s life. Muscle degeneration begins shortly after development, but there are treatments available that can help lengthen a person’s life and decrease pain.
This describes a series of disorders that are rare but are characterized by weakness and muscle inflammation from birth. Depending on the specific disorder, these do have treatment options and care that can help with pain and strengthen the affected muscles.
Neuromuscular disorders that have to do with the metabolism usually include symptoms like intolerance to exercise, mitochondrial issues, and serious cramping syndromes. Many of these can be taken care of through medicines and other treatments.
An acquired disorder, necrotizing myopathy is a form of muscle degeneration that shows cell death, also known as necrosis. This causes muscle weakness and fatigue as well as a loss of feeling. This is responsive to many treatments but may be difficult to diagnose.
Affecting people of all ages, this specific neuromuscular disorder affects the muscles and the skin. A distinctive rash can appear along with symptoms of weakness, muscle degeneration, and fatigue. This can be treated through medicines and heat therapy, among other things.
Inclusion Body Myositis (IBM)
This is a muscular disorder that causes muscle atrophy and weakness. It does not develop until after age 50 and is considered to be rare. It is similar in form to ALS, which is another neuromuscular disease. It has no cure but treatments have been effective in many ways.
Neuromuscular disorders that affect the areas where the muscles and nerves connect are called junction disorders. These are sometimes more well-known orthopedic conditions but they are rare and tend to be very serious.
Myasthenia Gravis (MG)
Known for its symptoms of drooping eyelids and facial muscles along with muscle weakness and severe fatigue, this occurs because the immune system begins to attack healthy tissues. This condition worsens with activity and exercise but improves with rest. There is no cure, but many people can have an improved quality of life and experience relief through treatment.
This disorder is most often caused by cancers, but it can occur in other patients as well. Treating the underlying cancer is often the most important part of treatment, but in most patients, this can also relieve symptoms of Lambert-Eaton syndrome as well. This neuromuscular disorder is characterized by dry mouth, tingling sensations, trouble walking and fatigue.
Neuropathy is a very common orthopedic condition that comes from nerve damage. This can happen through many different causes, including other diseases or even substances. Some neuropathy can be avoided or even stopped in its progression through treatments and lifestyle changes.
Nerve damage can occur as a result of high blood sugar, which stems from uncontrolled diabetes. Neuropathy can progress rapidly if untreated and is not reversible, but it can be slowed or even stopped if the patient takes the right steps to manage it. This includes managing blood sugar through insulin and other medications and eating a healthy diet.
This kind of neuromuscular disease is caused by consuming or being exposed to toxic substances. This includes exposure to compounds like agent orange, mercury or lead poisoning, alcohol poisoning, nitrous, and even consuming certain fish and shellfish. This kind of neuropathy can be treated in various ways depending on the severity of the toxic exposure and the overall health of the patient.
Lou Gherig’s Disease
Also known as ALS or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, this is a very serious condition in which a patient’s muscles deteriorate very quickly, leading to complete muscle shutdown. This kind of neuromuscular disorder has no cure, but there are treatments that can ease a patient’s pain and suffering as well as improve their quality of life.
Small Fiber Neuropathy
This condition causes a painful tingling sensation in the hands and feet, and can cause a person to lose sensitivity to heat and cold. This can be caused by several things like other disorders or injury. There are treatments available that can alleviate and cure this disorder through managing the underlying condition.
Also known as dysautonomia, this is a condition that affects the internal organs. This has a wide range of symptoms and has no identified cause. It is very difficult to diagnose and has a range of treatment options depending on the symptoms the patient is experiencing.
Treatment of Neuromuscular Disorders
Clearly, neuromuscular disorders vary greatly and have an extensive amount of symptoms. This means that each patient needs to be thoroughly examined and diagnosed before any treatment can begin. In our office, we make sure each patient is cared for to the best of our ability! This includes a diversified scope of treatment plans and care. Pain management, physical therapy, and surgical options are all explored in our office. We care deeply and want to see each of our patients thrive and grow, no matter what orthopedic conditions they may be experiencing.