Myositis Muscle Groups

Myositis Muscle Groups: Understanding doctor-speak

Go to any doctor with myositis experience and you will hear about distinctions of weakness based on muscle groups. Other health practitioners may even use different terms which make it more confusing. Our Tip Tuesday gives you a little cheat sheet to understand what they might mean.

  • Proximal muscles – the muscles closest to the core of the body are affected. Shoulders, neck, chest, biceps, hips and thighs.
  • Distal muscles – the muscles most distant from the core of the body, hands, wrists, fingers, forearms, ankles, calves and feet.
  • Trunk muscles – some doctors use this to refer to proximal muscles, but it can also include back and abdominal muscles.
  • Core muscles – usually referring to the group of muscles that wrap around the center of the body and includes stomach and back muscles.
  • Throat weakness also referred to as dysphagia – weakness in the mouth, tongue, and throat leading to swallowing issues.

If you ever have any doubts, ask your doctor to show you a diagram and explain which part of your body they are talking. You can be your own best advocate!




Myositis Support and Understanding Association (MSU) is a patient-centered, all-volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization Empowering the Myositis Community. Founded by Myositis patients, for Myositis patients, MSU provides education, support, advocacy, access to research and clinical trial matching, and need-based financial assistance.

View more information: Myositis Support


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