Other therapies

Explore other therapies which may be beneficial for treating myositis.

Other therapies

There are a number of alternative or additional therapies which people with myositis may find useful to integrate into their treatment plans. It is important to view these as complementary to medication and exercise, rather than in replace of more traditional approaches.

Please discuss any complimentary or non-traditional approaches with your doctor so they can continue to monitor your symptoms and recovery with a full picture.

Occupational therapy

Those with inclusion body myositis (IBM) may benefit from occupational therapy. Occupational therapists (OTs) can provide advice and equipment to assist in tasks that become increasingly difficult with weakened muscles. More than any other professional they are in a position to provide valuable help in overcoming the everyday practical problems that IBM patients face.

Typically they will observe a patient in their own home before advising on strategies, aids and equipment. Examples include cutlery with chunky handles to make gripping easier, aids to help stair climbing and advice on bathing or showering difficulties.

OTs are employed in hospitals and by Social Services. Referral to OTs can be made by hospital doctors, GPs or patients themselves through Social Services.

Speech therapy

Those with inclusion body myositis (IBM) may benefit from speech therapy. Speech therapists also have expertise in swallowing difficulties (dysphagia). In some IBM patients weakened swallowing muscles may cause dysphagia. This may cause fragments of food or drink to enter the windpipe resulting in coughing after meals or chest infections. Some IBM patients reduce their intake resulting in significant weight loss. Speech therapists can advise on strategies to help swallowing. Occasionally it is necessary to use other techniques to give adequate nutrition.


Some people with myositis have found by following a diet and eating certain foods, it has been beneficial to their general condition. One such diet is an anti-inflammatory eating plan (sometimes referred to as a Mediterranean diet).

As yet there is not medical proof to support any claims that diet plays a big role in controlling the disease. However, a balanced, healthy diet containing fresh food etc., low in saturated fat and supplemented in certain kinds of fish oil can be beneficial to a degree.

Mind and body

There are a growing number of mind and body practices which some people with myositis have found helpful including acupuncture, massage therapy, yoga and meditation. Although it should be clarified that there are no scientific studies related to the effects of these on myositis specially.

What these practices can help with are stress reduction, improved sleep and overall mental wellbeing. Feeling relaxed and well rested can help those with myositis avoid flare ups.

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