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Muscle cramps, pain and weakness

Muscular dystrophy cartoon

Muscle weakness can be alarming. In fact, feeling muscle weakness is one of the top reasons people visit their general practitioner. Often, what is referred to as muscle weakness is due to another issue like an injury or a symptom of fatigue.
Muscle weakness can be localized to one part of the body or may affect many muscles at once. The symptoms may start suddenly or may gradually increase. While muscle weakness may not be indicative of a health issue, it is a good idea to speak with your neurologist about your concerns.

Muscle Weaknesses Defined

Different individuals will use the term "muscle weakness" to describe a variety of physical ailments, including:

  • Muscle Weakness – When the muscle does not respond the way it is supposed to. This may be due to lack of flexibility or the loss of strength.
  • Muscle Exhaustion – Fatigue occurs due to overuse or due to being tired. The muscle is able to perform correctly, but it seems more difficult to do so due to a lack of energy.

Causes of Muscle Weakness

There are several non-medical issues that can result in an experience of muscle weakness:

  • The feeling of muscle weakness is most often caused by a sedentary lifestyle or lack of use. The body is simply not used to the demands. As the body is used more often, the muscles will become stronger and performing the desired tasks will become easier.
  • As a person ages, their body takes longer to recover and performing certain tasks becomes more difficult. This may result in the feeling of having weak muscles.
  • Additionally, several medical conditions can result in muscle weakness:
    • Diabetes
    • Heart disease
    • Vascular issues
    • COPD
    • Anemia
    • Anxiety
    • Neurological conditions
    • Injury

There are many problems that can affect muscles. Muscle disorders can cause weakness, pain or even paralysis. Causes of muscle disorders include

  • Injury or overuse, such as sprains or strains, cramps or tendinitis
  • A genetic disorder, such as muscular dystrophy
  • Inflammation, such as myositis
  • Diseases of nerves that affect muscles
  • Infections
  • Certain medicines
  • Some cancers

Diagnosis and Tests

  • Creatinine Kinase
  • Nerve conduction study and Electromyography
  • MRI of musculoskeletal system
  • Muscle or nerve Biopsy
  • Genetic testing

Treatment as per cause

  • Avoid offending agents such as cholesterol lowering agents
  • Physiotherapy
  • Immunotherapy for inflammatory disorder
  • Botulinum Toxin injection for muscle spasms

In order to address muscle weakness, it is important to understand the root cause of the issue. Therefore, it is important to speak with a neurologist about your symptoms. For additional information on muscle weakness or to schedule an appointment with a neurologist, contact Centennial Specialist Centre team today