Muscle weakness refers to a lack of strength in one or more muscles. It is a symptom of a wide range of diseases and conditions, and can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent, and reversible or irreversible. It can occur at any age and can affect part or all of the body.
Temporary muscle weakness can result from a relatively mild condition, such as a sedentary lifestyle, or an infection, such as a respiratory or urinary tract infection. It may also be caused by an injury, such as a strained muscle or torn muscle.
Muscle weakness can also be chronic and continue for a long period of time, such as when related to muscle diseases (muscular dystrophy, myasthenia gravis); neurologic diseases (stroke, cerebral palsy, Guillain-Barré syndrome, multiple sclerosis); metabolic disorders (electrolyte imbalance, Addison's disease, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism); and trauma.
If you have persistent muscle weakness that is severe, painful or present for several weeks, you should visit your physician. Lancaster Orthopedic Group has extensive experience in the treatment of muscle weakness. Your physician will perform comprehensive testing to determine the cause of the weakness and the best course of treatment. Some cases of muscle weakness can be successfully treated and cured, while others may require more intensive treatment.