Musculoskeletal Disorder

Neurological Associates of West Los Angeles

Neurology Specialists located in Santa Monica, CA

When your musculoskeletal disorder is caused by nerve problems or muscle disease, you need the expertise of Edward J. O’Connor, MD, FAAN, and Russ Shimizu, MD, at Neurological Associates of West Los Angeles. As specialists in neuromuscular medicine, these doctors have years of experience providing optimal treatment that prevents or delays disease progression. If you experience muscle weakness, spasms, or stiffness, call the office in Santa Monica, California, or book an appointment online today.

Musculoskeletal Disorder Q & A

What are neurological and muscle diseases?

Disorders of bone, joint, and muscle are common causes of pain, muscle spasm, and decreased mobility. Interventional procedures can help improve function and decrease pain.

Neurological and muscle diseases, also called neuromuscular diseases, develop when your muscles don’t work properly. Neuromuscular diseases may arise from inflammation or disease in the muscle. They’re also caused by damaged nerves that can’t transmit the electrical signals needed to trigger muscle contraction.

What are the most common types of neuromuscular diseases?

Neuromuscular diseases are placed in the following categories:

  • Muscular dystrophies
  • Spinal muscular atrophies
  • Inflammatory myopathies
  • Peripheral nerve diseases
  • Neuromuscular junction diseases
  • Metabolic muscle diseases
  • Other types of myopathies

Some of the most common neuromuscular diseases include Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which is only one of nine types of muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), myasthenia gravis, myositis, and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.

What symptoms develop due to neuromuscular diseases?

All types of neuromuscular diseases cause muscle weakness and a range of other muscle symptoms. As a group, symptoms found in neuromuscular disorders include:

  • Muscle weakness, tremors, spasms, and spasticity (tight, stiff muscles)
  • Muscle loss (atrophy)
  • Movement disorders
  • Balance problems
  • Numbness, tingling, or pain
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Trouble breathing

Each patient’s symptoms vary widely depending on the type of disease, its severity, and the degree of nerve involvement. For example, patients with dermatomyositis (one of the inflammatory myopathies) usually have a skin rash, while myasthenia gravis causes droopy eyelids, double vision, and difficulty speaking.

How are neuromuscular diseases treated?

Neuromuscular disorders develop in people of all ages. Some are inherited, while others develop due to an underlying health problem such as an autoimmune disease or enzyme deficiency.

Determining the type of neuromuscular disease responsible for your symptoms requires in-depth evaluation by the experts at Neurological Associates of West Los Angeles. They may perform electrodiagnostic testing, such as nerve conduction tests and electromyography. Neuroimaging such as an MRI may also be needed to diagnose the cause of your symptoms.

Your customized treatment may include medications to manage symptoms and delay disease progression. Your doctor at Neurological Associates of West Los Angeles may also recommend orthotics or physical therapy to help maintain optimal function and strength.

If you develop muscle weakness, cramps, or other abnormal muscle movements, call Neurological Associates of West Los Angeles or book an appointment online today.