Muscle Weakness: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment
Decreased Muscle Strength: What is Muscle Weakness?
Muscle weakness, also known as myasthenia is simply defined as a lack of muscle strength in one of your body’s muscles. Muscle weakness is a very broad term that can include a wide range of meanings, conditions, and causes.
As far as muscle weakness goes, they can be classified into two types, namely:
- True Muscle Weakness- this is when the force that is exerted by the muscles is actually less than expected. This type of muscular weakness is also known as neuromuscular weakness, and one of the most common conditions that exhibit true muscle weakness is muscular dystrophy.
- Perceived Muscle Weakness- this condition is when a person feels more effort than normal in doing things that require muscular force. This is when the actual muscles strength is normal, but the person feels more effort than normal in exerting muscular force. Perceived muscle weakness is also known as non-neuromuscular weakness and can take the form of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Muscle weakness can also be used to describe a term known as muscle fatigue, and it means that when a muscle is used, it starts out normally, but is quickly tired and takes more time to normally recover.
What are the Most Common Causes of Decreased Muscle Strength?
The causes of muscle weakness can vary, and there are numerous causes as to how muscle weakness can occur. Some of the most common causes of muscle weakness include:
- Lack of Muscle Use- Perhaps one of the most common causes of muscle weakness is a person’s lack of use. A person won't normally has any use for the muscles in his body if he or she is living an inactive or sedentary lifestyle. What normally happens when you don’t use your muscles are that they get replaced with fat. With time, if your muscles are not in use, then instead of becoming bulky, they become floppy because of fat.
- Aging- another common cause of muscle weakness occurs with age. Age tends to make muscles weaker, as they are a natural consequence of age. Older people often times find it frustrating when what they could do when they were younger cannot be done anymore now that they are of age.
- Infections- infections can sometimes cause the condition. Although the weakness they deliver is only temporary, it can still be a cause for concern as sometimes the weakness is due to inflammation. The weakness can last quite a while if the infection lasts for a long time, such as in influenza.
- Pregnancy- if you are pregnant then chances are you will also experience muscle weakness in certain parts of your body. This is due to high levels of steroid in the blood and the lack of iron in a pregnant woman’s body.
Other causes of the condition may include:
- Heart Disease
- Chronic Lung Disease
- Kidney Disease
Decreased Muscle Strength: Symptoms most usually Associated with It
Symptoms associated with decreased muscle strength, of course, begin with the weakness of the muscle itself. When experiencing the condition, you may feel a certain fatigue in any muscle of your body. This can be one of the first symptoms you may feel. But what most people don’t know is that muscle weakness is also associated with a whole host of other symptoms such as:
- A Burning Feeling- There may be a burning feeling in the muscle that is feeling weak
- Paralysis- Paralysis can also be felt in the associated muscle
- Pain- Along with weakness there may also be pain that is felt by the patient
- Muscle Spasms- Muscle spasms are also a common symptom associated with weakness
- Loss of Muscle Coordination- you may experience difficulty coordinating different parts of your body when they are affected by weakness
- Prickling Sensation- there will also be a prickling sensation along with the feeling of weakness
- Twitching- twitching is another common symptom, especially in the area where the weakness is felt.
Other much rarer symptoms of the condition include:
- Blurry Vision
- Weight Loss
Common Treatments for Decreased Muscle Strength
Decreased Muscle Strength can be treated in any number of ways. Mostly your doctor will prescribe you medication to ease the pain and to restore strength to your muscles. Other times, the doctor will prescribe an exercise or physical therapy plan to help you relieve your muscle of the weakness it has.
There are also effective home remedies to help treat the condition right in your own home. Here are some of them :
- Drinking Lots of Water
- Eating eggs
- A glass of Milk with Liquorice and Honey
- A cup of Coffee in the Morning
- Eating Bananas
- Eating Almonds