What Is Myositis Ossificans

Myositis ossificans is an abnormal bone that forms within the muscle tissue. There are two types of myositis ossificans: myositis ossificans circumscripta is the result of a muscle injury and myositis ossificans progressiva is an inherited condition that causes the formation of bone in many tissues.

This is a condition that athletes often experience after sustaining a blunt injury resulting in deep tissue bleeding. A neglected bad muscle strain or contusion can result in myositis ossificans. When an impact causes damage to the sheath surrounding a muscle or a bone, then a bone growth develops (calcification) that can be quite painful. Bone growth begins two to four weeks after injury and within three to six months is a mature bone.

What Causes Myositis Ossificans?

Sometimes when an injury occurs an individual may self-assess and choose not to follow injury protocol which starts with ‘R.I.C.E.’ immediately after injury (rest, ice, compression and elevate). However, if intensive physiotherapy or massage occurs too soon after injury then this too can result in myositis ossificans. In addition, if an athlete returns to training too soon after injury, this may also result in this condition.

Myositis Ossificans Symptoms

Symptoms of myositis ossificans often varies from person-to-person. Common symptoms include swelling, pain, discomfort, swelling, and a lump within the muscle tissue.

Myositis ossificans progressiva symptoms include digits (fingers and toes) that have changed shape, painful lumps around the joints, a spine with an abnormal curve, as well as a decrease in the range of motion in the shoulders and hips.

Diagnosis And Treatment Options

An examination from a physiotherapist or chiropractor can indicate if myositis ossificans is present. Usually at about three weeks post injury an X-ray can confirm diagnosis. Other diagnosis methods include an MRI scan or an ultrasound.

Once myositis ossificans is established, there are very few options that can be explored to accelerate the restorative process. Treatment will generally focus on rest from activities that can cause agitation and a physiotherapist or chiropractor can provide a gentle pain-free range of movement exercises.


In the event of an injury, a person must diligently follow R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression and elevate) in the initial phase of injury (preferably immediately but within the first 24 hours). By following the RICE regime, this greatly reduces the likelihood of the development of myositis ossificans. Far too many people think they’ll be okay and do not follow R.I.C.E.; it is better to be safe than sorry.

What is also very important is to rest from activities, regular icing, and if possible, use a compression bandage. Taking preventative measures at the time of and shortly after an injury will save a lot of time down the road should myositis ossificans develop.

If you suspect you may have myositis ossificans then help is a phone call away. For more information about treatment options to seek relief from myositis ossificans, Chiro-Med Rehab Centre in Richmond Hill can help. Chiro-Med Rehab Centre has a walk-in clinic conveniently located at 10144 Yonge Street, just north of Major MacKenzie Drive in the heart of Richmond Hill. Call 905-918-0419 for more information or to book a consultation.

March 10, 2014

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