Inclusion Body Myositis


Inclusion body myositis (IBM) is an inflammatory disease that causes muscle weakness and degeneration. For those with IBM, the body’s immune system attacks and damages muscle tissue. This is the most common type of inflammatory myopathy, or disease in which inflammation affects the muscles, in older adults.


  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Falling
  • Gradual weakness of legs, arms, wrists and fingers
  • Inability to grip objects
  • Loss of control over facial muscles
  • Pain


Currently, there is no way to prevent inclusion body myositis. Because research is unclear about what causes the disease, there is no evidence that suggests how to prevent IBM.

Risk Factors

  • IBM affects males more often than females.
  • IBM develops in adulthood and occurs mostly in those older than 50.


It can be difficult to diagnose IBM due to the progressive onset of the disease. A muscle biopsy can show changes that may help your physician determine whether you have the disease. Your physician may also order testing, such as MRI or an electrocardiogram (EKG), to help detect abnormalities in muscle anatomy and activity.


Currently, there is no cure for IBM. However, there are ways you can manage the disease, including:

  • Exercise. An exercise program could help those with IBM recover muscle strength and reduce inflammation. Follow a physician’s recommendations for which exercises to include.
  • Fall prevention. Patients with IBM are more likely to fall due to weakened muscles. Mobility and orthotic devices could help prevent falls.
  • Physical therapy. Find a physical therapist who is familiar with the disease and can help you set realistic goals for managing symptoms.
  • Speech therapy. Approximately half of those diagnosed with IBM have dysphagia. A speech therapist can provide strategies to swallow easier.

Follow-up Care

Your physician will closely monitor therapies, as well as arrange consults with additional specialists in myopathy as needed.

Why Choose UK HealthCare for Neuromuscular Disorders?

If you or a loved one is living with a neuromuscular disorder, neuromuscular doctors with Kentucky Neuroscience Institute can offer the latest and most sophisticated care options. UK HealthCare’s ALS Multidisciplinary Clinic earned accreditation as a Certified Treatment Center of Excellence from the ALS Association. This honor is awarded to facilities that demonstrate competency meeting the clinical care and treatment standards set forth by the ALS Association. These facilities must also take part in ALS research and a comprehensive site review.

Additionally, the Kentucky Neuroscience Institute is ranked 44th in the country by U.S. News & World Report, and our physicians are regularly named to the Best Doctors in America List.