What is it?

Muscle weakness is a reduced ability to contract the muscles and decreased strength. It may interfere with the ability to perform daily activities such as standing, walking, sitting up and moving. Muscle weakness can be represented in the muscles of the arms,legs, face and more. There are many conditions leading to muscle weakness- diseases such as ALS, Bell’s palsy, cerebral palsy, degenerative changes of the cervical spine, Guillain- Barre syndrome, Grave’s disease, Lambert- Eaton myasthenic syndrome, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and myasthenia gravis. Other causes may include electrolyte imbalance, thyroid diseases, infections, anemia, cancer, alcoholism, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, fibromyalgia, herniated disc, and many more. Diagnosis is based upon findings from medical history and physical examination. Further evaluation may include blood and urine tests, EMG, imaging tests of the brain and spinal cord, nerve conduction tests, muscle biopsy, and lumbar puncture. Treatment depends on the underlying cause and may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, medications, dietary changes, and surgical interventions.

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