what is muscle weakness

Hello Fitness Freaks, What is Muscle weakness?. 

Muscle weakness or myasthenia (my- from Greek μυο meaning “muscle” + -asthenia ἀσθένεια meaning “weakness”) is a primary symptom of a variety of skeletal muscle diseases, including muscular dystrophy and inflammatory myopathy. If muscle weakness is the result of pain, the person may be able to make muscles work, but it will hurt.

Today we’ll study deeply all about What is Muscle Weakness?.

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Muscle weakness in arms and legs

Muscle Weakness Definition

What is Muscle Weakness?”  All of us at some point in our life have experienced reduced power and tiredness bordering on fatigue. This common complaint is known as muscle weakness.

As the name suggests, it is the reduced strength in one or more muscles. Muscle weakness can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent, reversible or irreversible.

Notice how your muscles become ‘floppy’ after a few weeks of inactive or sedentary lifestyle? That’s because when we don’t use our muscles, the fiber in our muscles is replaced by fat.

Thus, the muscles can’t contract effectively and you feel the weakness. A sedentary lifestyle is actually one of the most common causes of muscle weakness.

It usually affects the muscles of your arms and legs.

You’ll know that you are suffering from muscle weakness or reduced muscle strength when despite your full effort, your body is not able to produce a normal muscle contraction or movement.

Muscle Weakness Types

  • Primary or true muscle weakness

This shows itself as an inability to perform what you want to do with a muscle, even the first time you try. There is a reduction in the force which the muscle can exert, however hard you try. The muscle is not working properly – it has become abnormal.

When this kind of weakness occurs the muscles are often floppier than usual and reduced in bulkiness. It can happen, for example, following a stroke. It is also seen in a condition called muscular dystrophy (discussed further below). Both of these conditions result in weakened muscles which cannot move the usual load. It’s a real change in muscle power.

  • Muscle tiredness

Muscle tiredness also called asthenia. It is a sense of weariness or exhaustion that you feel when using the muscle. The muscle isn’t genuinely weaker, it can still do its job but it takes you more effort to manage it.

This type of weakness is often seen in people who have chronic fatigue syndrome, sleep disorders, depression, and chronic heart, lung, and kidney disease. It may be due to a reduction in the speed with which the muscle can get its energy supply.

  • Muscle ‘fatigability’

Some muscle tiredness is mainly muscle ‘fatigability’ – the muscle starts off normally but tires very quickly and takes longer to recover than normal. This often goes with muscle tiredness but it is particularly seen in some uncommon conditions such as myasthenia gravis and myotonic dystrophy.

The difference between these three types of muscle weakness is often vague and you can have more than one of them. You can also progress from one to another.

However, working out which one is the main problem can help doctors work out what is causing it. This is because some conditions tend to cause one type of weakness rather than another.

What are the Causes of Muscle Weakness?

Muscle weakness is a decrease in muscle strength. It can be caused by a neurologic, muscular or metabolic disorder.

Neurologic disorders causing muscle weakness include amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), Guillain-Barre syndrome (an autoimmune nerve disorder), stroke, or even a pinched nerve.

Muscular disorders, such as muscular dystrophy and dermatomyositis, are also common causes of muscular weakness.

Metabolic conditions that can lead to weakness include Addison’s disease, low sodium or potassium levels, and hyperparathyroidism.

Ingestion of toxic substance, such as insecticides, nerve gas, or paralytic shellfish poisoning, can cause muscle or nerve damage along with muscle weakness. Muscle weakness can also result from blood disorders, such as anemia and low blood sugar.

Muscle weakness could be a result of various health conditions, such as:

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Hypotonia or lack of muscle tone
  • An autoimmune muscular disorder called Myasthenia gravis
  • Nerve damage called peripheral neuropathy
  • Sharp or burning pain in one or more nerves, also referred to as neuralgia
  • Chronic muscle inflammation called polymyositis
  • Polio
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Elevated blood calcium or hypercalcemia
  • Rheumatic fever
  • West Nile virus
  • Botulism
  • Even prolonged periods of bed rest or immobility can cause muscle weakness. Some other diseases known to result in weakened muscles are Grave’s disease, Guillain-Barre syndrome, and Lou Gehrig’s disease.

 Signs And Symptoms Of Muscle Weakness

Apart from experiencing weakness in your muscles, you can also have symptoms like burning sensations in a specific part of the body, frequent falls, loss of coordination among the muscles, muscle spasms, muscle pain, prickling sensations and twitching

The common signs and symptoms are:

  • Muscle pain
  • Muscle cramps
  • Atrophy

Most often, muscular weakness is a symptom of a condition that might require immediate medical attention. Hence, first and foremost, it is important to find the underlying cause and avail treatment.

Muscle Weakness Treatment

Treatment :

  • Problems due to overexertion or injury can be alleviated after a period of recovery. Regular exercising builds up and strengthens the muscles.
  • Sometimes Muscle weakness is caused by an unhealthy diet, changing the diet or taking vitamins, minerals, etc. can alleviate the symptoms.
  • After infectious diseases muscle strength usual returns by itself.
  • Medication can alleviate problems in certain types of muscle weakness, e.g. myasthenia gravis pseudoparalysis.

If muscle weakness is caused by

  • accident or surgery, e.g. cruciate ligament (knee), meniscus, shoulder, hip, spinal disk and back problems, or peripheral nerve damage and incomplete tetraplegia leading to denervated muscles,
  • disorder, e.g. after stroke,
  • or is a symptom of a neural and muscular disorder.

treatment may alleviate the symptoms but not the cause of the disorder.

Symptomatic therapies include:

Physiotherapy

Regular exercises with or without equipment to build up and strengthen muscles are performed under the instructions of the physiotherapist. To strengthen the muscles conventional physiotherapy may also be supplemented by physical treatments.

Apart from that, here are a few natural remedies that can help you fight muscle weakness.

Sufficient intake of certain vitamins and minerals through your diet is of great importance in treating muscle weakness. 

Minerals like iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium have important roles in improving the strength and functioning of your muscles. Coming to vitamins, a deficiency in B vitamins and vitamin D can cause muscle weakness

Hence, you must try and follow a healthy and well-balanced diet that includes all the major vitamins and minerals for effectively combating muscle weakness.

Some foods that are rich sources of these nutrients are milk, eggs, fish, poultry, beans, whole grains, avocados, and spinach.If you want to take additional supplements for any of these nutrients, it is better to consult your doctor before doing so.

Some of the home remedies or natural remedies are Consuming egg, massage with eucalyptus and rosemary oils, consuming apple cider vinegar and warm water mixture, doing exercise and walks on a daily basis.

 

Also Read:-Top 20 Home Remedies For Muscle Weakness

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