Dermatomyositis is not a common condition; it is marked by muscle weakness & the tissues around them.  It also impacts blood vessels. Dermatomyositis causes weakness and skin rash.

It usually occurs from the late 50s to early 80s. Also, it affects twice as females than males.

There’s no such cure for dermatomyositis, but periods of symptom improvement can occur. Physical therapy treatment can help you regain muscle strength and function.


The most common signs and symptoms of dermatomyositis include:

  • Skin changes– A patchy purple-colored or red rash develops; most commonly shows up on your face and eyelids and on knuckles, elbows, knees, toes, chest and back. Rash can be itchy & painful, is often the first sign of dermatomyositis. Also, your skin may look sunburned, it feel scaly, dry & rough.

  • Muscle weakness– It also causes muscle weakness that gets worse over time. Progressive muscle weakness involves the muscles closest to your center of your body, including those in your hips, thighs, shoulders, upper arms and neck. The weakness affects both sides of your body, and tends to gradually worsen


The exact cause of dermatomyositis isn’t known, but the disease has similarities to an autoimmune disease, in which your immune system mistakenly attacks your own body tissues.

When you have dermatomyositis, your immune system goes after the blood vessels inside your muscles and the connective tissues in your skin.


Possible complications of dermatomyositis include:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Breathing problems
  • Aspiration pneumonia
  • Associated conditions
  • Calcium deposits

Dermatomyositis may cause other conditions or put you at higher risk of developing them, including:

  • Lung disease
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon
  • Cancer
  • Other connective tissue diseases

Physical Therapy at SOS PHYSIO Rehab

Our physical therapist can show you exercises to help maintain & improve your strength and flexibility and advise you about an appropriate level of activity.

There are many physical therapy treatments such as Manual therapy & Active Release Techniques (ART) are found to be very effective in treating this type of disorder.
For more information- Contact your local SOS PHYSIO clinic.

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