Muscle weakness is loss of strength in a few or many muscles which may develop suddenly or gradually. It happens when the patient’s full efforts do not produce the expected, normal muscle movement.
Weakness can be caused by different injuries or disorders including stroke and spinal cord injury. Weakness is a very common complaint and, in many cases, patients mistake fatigue or functional limitations for weakness. It is worth noting that weakness of specific muscle groups can cause disorders of eye movement, dysarthria, dysphagia, or respiratory weakness. The brain sends signals through your spinal cord and nerves to the muscles causing contractions. Injuries in the brain, nervous system, muscles, or the connections between them can produce muscle weakness. Also, neurological disorders in the upper and lower motor neurons, neuromuscular junction, and muscles may cause different types of weakness. You should see a neurologist if muscle weakness, or muscle weakness with no apparent cause or normal explanation persists. It may be a sign of an underlying health condition and requires medical attention.
The term weakness is sometimes used loosely to describe feeling of malaise or tiredness, lack of energy, fatigue, or weariness. These are symptoms of other medical conditions such as cancer, chronic fatigue, insomnia, or heart disease for example.
Real weakness disorder symptoms include loss of balance, problems with gait or trouble doing daily tasks, such as grooming or writing with a pen. Muscle weakness may accompany other symptoms affecting the muscles including pain, twitching, paralysis, muscle spasms, frequent episodes of falling, burning feeling, loss of muscle coordination, and prickling sensation.