One of the most alarming or disturbing things people tell me in clinical practice is my muscles are weak. This happens when you move your muscles and the muscle does not work ‘normally.’ Weak muscles can be caused by lack of exercise, illness, trauma, auto-suggestion, disease or infection. There can also be a tendency to express genetic susceptibilities (environment) or genetic diseases (genes).
Weak muscles can be temporary, like recovering from an intense work out, or the warning signal of some condition developing or more rarely a serious medical condition and I hesitate to even name some of the names because the likelihood of a serious medical condition is much less likely as an unused muscle group, deconditioning (out of shape), or temporary work out trauma.
There are many causes of muscle weakness. Examples include:
- Poor nutrition
- Mineral deficiency
- Vitamin deficiency
- Hypotonia, a lack of muscle tone from birth
- Autoimmune diseases
- Nerve disease
- Nerve damage
- Chronic inflammation
- Infections like polio, Lyme, viral etc.
- Much rarer conditions like ALS
- Prolonged bed rest or immobilization
- Age-related muscle weakness
The most important point of muscle weakness is to determine the reason. If you have been a couch potato or haven’t followed an exercise program, it is likely it’s just disuse. If you have had trauma, or nerve impingement (compressed nerve, herniated disc etc.), and the muscle isn’t getting nerve signals, that’s an explanation.
However, if there is no explanation you need to see a doctor that specializes in muscles or a functional medicine doctor. Now a functional medicine doctor means things like a chiropractor, naturopath, nurse practitioner, physical therapist or medical doctor that specializes in physiology function. They don’t have to be an MD and in many cases, they are better for the assessment of neuromusculoskeletal (nerves, muscles or joint) dysfunction.
You need to tell your doctor, how long you have had, which muscles are affected, what makes it better, what makes it worse, and any family members that may have similar symptoms. The doctor should do the following:
- Complete medical history
- Check reflexes
- Check tone
- Blood tests
- MRI/C if indicated
- Nerve tests if indicated
- EMG (muscle study) if indicated
Treatments for weak muscle
Naturally, this is determined after the cause is known. Lifestyle modifications like increased water intake, improved diet, medical nutritional supplementation, chiropractic, exercise, rehabilitation, vitamin injection therapy, vitamin infusion therapy and Rx therapy are all considerations.
My favorite recommendations for weak muscles, in order of importance:
- Move more, exercise every day
- Drink 128oz of water for 1 week (gallon/day)
- Medical nutritional therapy of minerals, vitamins, fats, and muscle rebuilders
- Vitamin infusion therapy
- Vitamin injection therapy
- *Neural therapy
Please see our patient testimonial blog – www.dailydosevitaminh.com
A sudden muscle weakness can be something serious. A loss of muscle control, dropping face, inability to walk, stand or sit straight, inability to control muscle of facial expressions, confusion, or difficulty speaking can be a sign of a stroke or immediate medical therapy needs. If this happens you should call 911 immediately.
Dr Jason West DC NMD FIAMA DCDBN
West Clinic, Pocatello Idaho
Founder, 3Cube Life LLC