What are the signs and symptoms of myopathies?

Updated: Dec 28, 2017
  • Author: Courtney A Bethel, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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The common symptoms of myopathy are muscle weakness, impaired function in activities of daily life, and, rarely, muscle pain and tenderness. Significant muscle pain and tenderness without weakness should prompt consideration of other causes.

General signs and symptoms of myopathy include the following:

  • Symmetric proximal muscle weakness
  • Malaise, fatigue
  • Dark-colored urine (suggests myoglobinuria) and/or fever
  • Absence of sensory complaints or paresthesias; however, deep tendon reflexes (DTRs) may be diminished/absent in hypokalemic paralysis
  • Very late findings: Atrophy and hyporeflexia (early presence usually implicates neuropathies)
  • Normal level of consciousness
  • Gottron papules in dermatomyositis: Pink-to-violaceous scaly areas over knuckles, elbows, and knees

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