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Arthritis and Rheumatism

Can RA Affect Muscles?

05/11/2009

Question:

I have been getting weakness in both of my legs. I get muscle spasms and cramps. I am finding it hard to walk. Like I am telling my legs to move but they don`t. I also have now a pulled hamstring in one leg that is not healed yet in thre weeks. The weakness sarted before the pulled hamstring. I also have rheumatiod arthritis. I am used to the pain in my legs from my RA, but not whatever this weekness is. I walk every day to try and keep the muscles strong. So they are not weak from a lack of exercise. Can RA affect muscles?

Answer:

Rheumatoid Arthritis may be associated with an inflammatory muscle condition known as myositis. Weakness is a more typical symptom than pain in people affected by myositis. An evaluation for myositis may include laboratories, electrodiagnostic testing, and even a biopsy of the muscle.

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Response by:

Raymond  Hong, MD, MBA, FACR Raymond Hong, MD, MBA, FACR
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University