Muscles and Tendons Information Center

Our skeletal system comprises of muscles, bones and tendons. A tendon helps in connecting the muscle to the bone; the muscle surrounds the bone and helps in protecting it; and together, they help in controlling and functioning of the joint movements.

There are many problems which can occur in our skeletal system. Some may involve the muscles, some may involve only the tendons; and sometimes both can be affected. In this section, we have covered many disorders or problems of our muscles and tendons in great detail.

Muscles and Tendons Information Center

Given below is a brief overview on some topics like Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Centronuclear Myopathy, Muscular Dystrophy, Exertional Compartment Syndrome and Rhabdomyosarcoma. For more detailed information on causes, symptoms, risk factors, investigations, treatment and prognosis, please refer to the left side menu under our MUSCLES AND TENDONS INFORMATION CENTER.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig's Disease

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis ALS

This is a medical condition involving the motor neurons. It is a debilitating disease which causes weakness, muscle atrophy, dysphagia, dysarthria and dyspnea. Other symptoms comprise of muscle cramping, twitching, stiffness, weakness in the extremities, speech impairment and footdrop. The main cause is genetic. Rilutek is a medicine which slows down the progress of this disease. Medications are also given for symptom relief. Physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy are also done for improving muscle strength and to aid in rehabilitation.

Centronuclear Myopathy (CNM)

Centronuclear Myopathy CNM

This is a disorder affecting the muscle fibers of our body where they start to malfunction resulting in various symptoms. This is a congenital myopathy. Mutations in the DNM2 and BIN1 genes are the cause. Symptoms comprise of muscle weakness, decreased neonatal muscle tone, extreme weakness, developmental delays, respiratory problems, high arched palate, abnormally long digits, long face and bell-shaped chest. There is no known cure for Centronuclear Myopathy. The aim of treatment is enhancing the quality of life of the patient. Physical therapy is helpful with the muscle weakness. Medications are given in case of other complications from this disease.

Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) or Muscular Dystrophy

Duchennes Muscular Dystrophy DMD

This is a common and a severe type of muscular dystrophy and causes weakness and degeneration of the muscles. Cause is the absence of dystrophin; whose function is to keep the muscle cells intact. Symptoms comprise of weakening of pelvic muscles, followed by weakness of muscles of the legs, arms, shoulders, and back; fatigue, heart disease and breathing difficulties. There may be learning and cognitive disabilities also. There is no proper treatment for Duchenne's muscular dystrophy. The aim of treatment is to improve the patient's condition and to make the patient's life as comfortable as possible by alleviating or controlling the symptoms.

To know more about the causes, risk factors and treatment for this condition, please refer to the left side menu under our MUSCLES AND TENDONS INFORMATION CENTER.

Exercise-Induced or Exertional Compartment Syndrome

Chronic Compartment Syndrome

This is a neuromuscular disorder which is brought on by exercise. It commonly causes swelling, pain and disability. Causes include repetitive muscle contraction and exercise. This syndrome is often seen in individuals who participate in rigorous activities, such as sports. Symptoms comprise of burning pain and cramping in the involved limb, stiffness, tingling, numbness, weakness, swelling, bulging in the affected limb. Foot drop is present in extreme cases. Diagnostic tests done are: CT scan, x-rays, Doppler studies, ultrasound and MRI. Treatment comprises of rest and painkillers. Surgery is done in serious cases where other treatments have failed.

Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) or Muscle Cancer

Rhabdomyosarcoma RMS

Rhabdomyosarcoma is a cancer which starts in the muscles. It is a very rare type of cancer and is a type of soft tissue sarcoma. The two common types of Rhabdomyosarcoma are:

  • Embryonal Rhabdomyosarcoma
  • Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma

The exact cause of Rhabdomyosarcoma is not known; however, certain types of DNA mutations in the cells are thought to be responsible. Symptoms depend on the location, type and size of the tumor and may include: Presence of a mass, bleeding, swallowing problems, congestion, neurological deficits, vision problems, eye bulging, pain and swelling around the eye, hearing loss, difficulty in initiating urine and bowel movement. Tests done for confirmation of diagnosis are: Biopsy, x-ray, CT scan, bone scan, MRI, PET scan and lumbar puncture. Treatment commonly consists of radiation therapy, chemotherapy and surgery.

For more information on this condition, please refer to the left side menu under our MUSCLES AND TENDONS INFORMATION CENTER.

Other Muscles and Tendons Topics Which are Covered in This Section:

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Last Modified On: May 10, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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