What is Muscular Weakness?

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  • Written By: Alex Paul
  • Edited By: Jacob Harkins
  • Last Modified Date: 05 November 2019
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In most cases, the term muscular weakness is used to describe a muscle that isn’t able to provide the force expected from it. This can occur for a number of reasons including muscle wastage and an inhibited nerve. There are also muscle diseases that can cause weakness. Some people suffer from perceived muscle weakness where the muscle isn’t physically weak but the person feels that he or she needs to provide excessive effort in order to achieve a normal force. An example of a condition that can cause this problem is chronic fatigue syndrome.

Muscles are used to support the skeleton and provide force for everyday actions such as pushing, walking and holding objects. When muscular weakness occurs, it can either have a direct effect on the ability of a person to perform certain actions or it can affect a person’s posture and kinetic chain. The latter problem can cause additional problems such as overuse injuries due to excess stress being placed on muscles that aren’t made to cope with this.

There are several different types of muscular weakness — neural, peripheral and central. Neural weakness occurs when a high level of force is required from a muscle, which can cause neural fatigue in untrained individuals. When a muscle is put under a large amount of stress, the nerve signal may begin to diminish, which causes it to stop working at peak performance. This type of muscle weakness is the least common and isn’t painful.


Central muscular weakness occurs when the drive provided to the body’s muscles decreases. This, in turn, reduces the force available to the muscles of the body. Central weakness affects all the muscles in the body at the same time and is thought to be a safety mechanism that becomes active when high intensity exercise is being used.

Peripheral muscular weakness occurs when the body can’t supply a specific muscle with the energy it needs. When a muscle contracts, it needs an increased amount of energy and a peripheral muscle weakness prevents this. In some cases this may also be called metabolic fatigue.

There are diseases that can cause muscle weakness. For example, muscular dystrophy is a condition that causes the muscles to become weak over time. This particular disease is a hereditary condition that can cause a variety of other symptoms including difficulty with learning and mood swings. Inflammatory myopathy can also result in the body’s muscles becoming weak.


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Post 3

@discographer-- Then you must reconsider having children if you are currently considering it. Your children may be born with the genetic mutation that leads to this type of muscle weakness disorder.

Of course, there are lots of different types. Not all of them are very severe or cause early death. But many do cause physical and cognitive disabilities. The advancement of medical equipment and physical has made it easier for people with mild muscular weakness to manage day to day. But fast and severe muscular wasting is not manageable.

Post 2

Muscular dystrophy runs in my husband's family. He doesn't have it but he has a cousin who does and a great uncle that died at a young age because of it. It can be a debilitating condition and it's unfortunate because there really isn't a way to treat it. The progression can be slowed down but since it's hereditary, it won't go away all together.

Post 1

I have a mild case of neural muscle weakness in my back. I've even had a test to test the strength of my nerves and the results showed that they were a little weak.

I'm actually not sure how it got started. I don't know if the muscles in my back were always weak and that led to nerve issues, or whether nerve issues caused the weakness. I just know that I have both and I need to strengthen my muscles to avoid further back injury.

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