Myopathy is a general term that refers to diseases affecting the muscles that connect to your bones (skeletal muscles). Myopathies may be passed on in families (inherited) or they may develop later in life (acquired).

Anyone can get a myopathy.

Factors that might increase your risk include:

Prevalence of myopathies depends on their type.

In acquired myopathies, for example, inflammatory and endocrine myopathies are more common than other types and are more common in people designated female at birth (DFAB) than those DMAB. The number of people diagnosed with inflammatory myopathy is between 9 and 32 per 100,000.

Anywhere from 25% to 79% of adults with hypothyroidism will develop muscle symptoms; though, overt myopathy might be as low as 10%.

The most common inherited myopathies are muscular dystrophies and these are typically more common in men and people DMAB. Duchenne’s and Becker’s muscular dystrophies are the most common, with 7 per 100,000 people worldwide.

Mitochondrial disorders affect 1 in 5,000 people, and most affect skeletal muscle. Other forms of inherited myopathies are rare.


Many myopathies share common symptoms. These common symptoms include:

People living with myopathy may have difficulty performing activities of daily living like bathing, combing their hair or standing up from a chair.


Your healthcare provider will gather your medical and family history, prescription drug history and your symptoms and will conduct a physical exam, which will include an exam of your skin, reflexes, muscle strength, balance and sensation. In addition your provider may also order specific tests, including: