Muscle weakness in the legs implies a loss of strength in the lower extremities.
In the legs, cramps or strong muscular fatigue can occur that prevents people from standing for a long time.
This disorder affects adults and children.
Weakness and muscular pains
Weakness and muscle pain can occur at the same time.
Causes of muscle pain
The muscle pain in the legs and thearms is very common.
The pain causes a reduction in strength due to the pain that is felt when performing movements, therefore, the affected people can not manage to carry out daily activities or perform sports.
Causes of generalized muscle pain Muscle
pain is one of the main symptoms of musculoskeletal diseases such as:
- Infections, such as flu , cold or Lyme disease .
- Connective tissue disorders, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
- Muscular degeneration, that is, polymyositis.
The pain produced by this disease can be mild or acute.
Causes of localized muscle pain
The causes can be:
Peripheral neuropathy is another disorder that causes muscle pain, as well as tingling and loss of sensation.
The imbalance of electrolytes ( magnesium, potassium and sodium, for example) in the blood produces muscle pain and weakness.
The loss of strength can also produce serious consequences. For example, weakness of the lumbar muscles is one of the risk factors of disc herniation .
Causes of muscle weakness in the legs
The muscle weakness in the legs can be due to several factors. Some are not serious, but others can be dangerous.
Intense physical activity is one of the most common causes of muscle weakness. Excessive exercise can cause fatigue .
Athletes and athletes can get very tired if they perform very hard workouts.
It is important to rest properly after a workout.
Diet and diet
One of the most common reasons for muscle weakness is diet.
Because of an overly frenetic lifestyle, many people eat junk food instead of healthy food.
Although junk food makes hunger disappear, it does not provide the body with the necessary nutrients, which can cause weakness in the legs and throughout the body.
Another cause of weakness in the lower extremities is poor circulation.
The circulation problems in the legs may be due to:
- Obstruction of the arteries
- Capillaries rupture
An autoimmune disease such as Graves-Basedow disease can cause muscle weakness in the legs. This disease leads to hyperactivity of the thyroid ( hyperthyroidism ).
It can cause weakness especially in the muscles of:
- Lower extremities
Side effects of medications
Some medications can cause muscle weakness, such as:
- Corticosteroids (in high doses)
- Diuretics (if they cause a disinution of the potassium level in the blood)
Diseases that cause muscle weakness
The hormonal imbalance known as Addison’s disease produces a decrease in the production of aldosterone and cortisone (hormones of the adrenal gland), the consequences of which are:
Other diseases of the metabolism
- Organophosphate poisoning
- Paralysis due to tetrodotoxin poisoning
Cerebral palsy Cerebral palsy
is a disease that causes problems of balance and movement. It also causes the loss of muscle tone.
It can be genetic (infantile cerebral palsy) or occur after a head injury or a disease.
Myasthenia gravis is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by fatigue and intermittent muscle weakness.
If the brain fails to send signals for the contraction of the muscles, there is a loss of strength, which prevents movements.
The effects and symptoms of myasthenia gravis are:
- Fallen eyelids
- Difficulty swallowing
- Muscular fatigue
- Difficulty breathing (due to weakness of the muscles of the chest wall)
- Facial paralysis
Among the treatments are medications and surgical operation.
The MS is a disease that affects the central nervous system (brain and spinal) and millions of nerve cells in the body.
The nerve fibers are protected by a fatty substance called myelin. In case of multiple sclerosis, inflammation of the myelin occurs.
Consequently, the myelin layer separates from the nerves and degrades.
If the nerve runs out of myelin, there is a delay in sending the impulses.
There are many possible symptoms, such as:
- Dificulty to walk
- Loss of balance and coordination
- Muscular weakness
- Loss of strength
- Exhaustion, fatigue and shortness of breath
- Pain in arms and legs
During the first phase, the patient with multiple sclerosis presents difficulty to run, but only in one leg, the right or the left.
In an advanced stage, the patient has to stop after a walk and it takes a long time to recover.
Anxiety and depression
These mental disorders can cause fatigue and weakness (especially in the legs), rapid heartbeat , tingling, etc.
Other neurological diseases
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a neurodegenerative disease in which the motor neurons die and the patient can not control the muscles.
- Guillain-Barré syndrome is an autoimmune disease that produces weakness in the muscles of the legs.
- Compression of the nerve.
- Bell’s palsy (affects the muscles of the eye).
- Myotonic dystrophy.
- Stroke .
Muscular type disorders
Dermatomyositis is an inflammatory disease that produces chronic skin and muscle inflammation .
It is an autoimmune disease of the connective tissue that develops gradually. It produces muscle weakness, especially proximal (muscles of the thighs, back and arms to the elbow).
The symptoms of dermatomyositis are:
- Muscle pains
- Gastric and duodenal ulcers
- Intestinal perforation
- Pulmonary disorders
Myositis is a disorder that produces inflammation in muscle fibers and is one of the causes of muscle weakness.
The weakness can also spread to other parts of the body, causing fatigue and pain.
Muscular dystrophy is a genetic disease characterized by gradual muscle atrophy.
The symptoms of muscular dystrophy are:
- Loss of mobility
- Lack of coordination
There is no treatment for muscular dystrophy.
Other causes of muscular type
- Rhabdomyolysis is characterized by the death of muscle tissue.
- Polymyositis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the muscles.
- Myotonia is a disease characterized by the inability of the muscles to relax quickly after contracting.
- The fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread muscle pain, fatigue (especially in the morning) and stiffness.
- Mitochondrial myopathies are diseases in which the organs that produce energy for the cells are affected.
Other reasons of muscle weakness
- Malignant tumor, such as multiple myeloma (affects mostly the elderly).
- Restless legs syndrome.
- Hodgkin’s disease .
- West Nile virus.
- Low pressure .
How does it manifest? Symptoms of muscle weakness
One of the most frequent symptoms of muscle fatigue is the loss of strength.
Although the symptoms in women and men are similar, women may be more affected by this disorder during:
Pregnant women develop these symptoms, especially in the legs and arms.
The muscle weakness in women is due mainly to:
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Here is a list of signs and symptoms that are manifested together with muscle weakness
- Muscular atrophy
- Inability to hold the arm
- Difficulty grasping objects due to hand weakness (for example, carpal tunnel syndrome )
- Fallen knee (loss of muscle function)
- Inability to perform a physical activity
- Prolonged tiredness
It can produce involuntary and rapid muscle contractions called myoclonic spasms or fasciculations .
These momentary muscle contractions occur mostly in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Symptoms are also tremors, which may be due to the maximum contraction of the muscle.
Muscle weakness after surgery
Patients who have undergone surgery soon lose quadriceps and calf strength.
If they try to do some simple exercises, these patients perceive that the leg begins to tremble when performing a maximum contraction.
Diagnosis of muscle weakness
The diagnosis of muscle weakness is made through an evaluation by the doctor and the following tests:
Treatments and natural remedies for muscle weakness
The following natural remedies can help in the treatment of muscle weakness as long as it is not caused by a serious illness.
activity Regular physical activity increases endurance, appetite and reduces stress.
The exercises play a fundamental role to promote health and fight against diseases such as fibromyalgia, such as:
- Aerobic exercises
Excessive effort can produce muscle weakness.
Therefore, after that, you have to rest properly.
It is necessary to sleep at least 7 hours a day.
Drink plenty of water
Drinking a sufficient amount of water prevents dehydration and promotes digestion.
diet A balanced diet plays an important role in reducing muscle weakness.
It is best to avoid fried and high-fat foods.
It is advisable to eat fruit, vegetables (rich in vitamins), cereals, nuts and seeds because they help to stay healthy and fit.
As far as possible, supplements should be avoided, since mineral salts and vitamins are found in food.