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Muscle Pain and Weakness

Muscle Pain and Weakness

Muscle pain accompanied by weakness can be a symptom of many conditions in the human body. This article provides information regarding the same.
Torque Earnest
Last Updated: Apr 22, 2018
Muscle pain and weakness go hand in hand. Weakness in legs and hands could be a sign of rheumatic conditions, SLE, or musculoskeletal disorders.
Muscle pain
Muscle pain can be of various types and can strike in various places. It can involve ligaments, tendons, bones, and organs. Pain is one of the most prominent and major symptom of most muscle and bone-related problems i.e., musculoskeletal disorders like fibromyalgia and degeneration of muscles i.e., polymyositis. The pain resulting from these may vary from being mild to severe and can be either localized or diffusing in nature. The causes can be due to injury by a blow, accident, over exercises, physically demanding work, sore muscles, muscle tension, exertion of muscles, pain due to muscle spasms, etc. Usually pain caused by the factors just mentioned is temporary, but if it lasts long it can be a case of chronic illnesses and rheumatic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, etc.
Causes
Muscle pain can be a result of many reactions taking place inside our body. The onset of certain infectious diseases like influenza or lyme disease are very often connected with pain in the muscles. Connective tissue disorders also cause a considerable amount of pain e.g., Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE ). Patients also complain of muscle tenderness. It is often accompanied with symptoms like difficulty in sleeping, fatigue, and headaches. Peripheral neuropathy is also something that results in muscle pain. The nerves fail to exchange information with the brain and nervous system. This not only causes pain, but also contributes to numbness and inability in muscle control. Electrolyte imbalance i.e., imbalance in the electrolytes in blood serum that exist in the blood in the form of acids, bases, and salts also leads to painful and weakened muscles. Examples of electrolytes are bicarbonate, calcium, chlorine, magnesium, potassium, and sodium.
Weakness
Medical definition of 'weakness' is loss of strength. It is a failure of muscular function in one or more muscles. In the following table weakness is classified into four types viz., metabolic, neurologic i.e., brain related, toxic, and muscle-related weakness.
Metabolic Neurologic Toxic Muscular
Addison's Disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Multiple Sclerosis Botulism Becker muscular dystrophy
Hyperparathyroidism Bell's palsy Pinched nerve Organophosphate poisoning Dermato myositis
Low sodium or potassium Cerebral plasy Stroke Paralytic Shellfish poisoning Muscular Dystrophy
Thyrotoxicosis Guillain-Barre Syndrome Myotonic Dystrophy Ankle pain and Tondinitis

Causes
Other causes of weakness include:
  • Anemia
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Congenital myopathies
  • Malignant tumors
  • Facial Nerve Problems
  • Malnutrition
  • Poliomyelitis
  • West Nile Virus
  • Diabetic Neuropathy
  • Medications
  • Sprains and Strains
  • Electrolyte imbalances
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Trauma
  • Hodgkin's Disease
  • Nerve impingement
It is necessary to evaluate the pain and its origin so as to have the accurate treatment. A doctor's examination, prescribed laboratory tests, and X-rays help detect the causes of muscle pain and weakness. This can be treated with either, medication, in case of chronic muscle pain or with general but effective pulled-muscle treatment which includes ice therapy, heat therapy, and the RICE therapy. Always keep in mind that pain is a signal that our body gives when something is wrong, and it should not be ignored.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.