Decreased muscle strength can be a symptom of many different conditions and disorders, ranging in severity from mild to very serious. The condition is characterized by the lack of the muscle’s ability to perform at their full strength. A decreased in muscle strength can occur because of a traumatic injury, an infection, an autoimmune disorder, or due to many other factors. A loss of muscle strength can affect people of any age, and it can affect any part of the body. Sometimes the entire body is affected by the condition.
Temporary decreased muscle strength can be caused by a lack of physical activity, or it can be a result of a moderately traumatic disorder, condition, or disease, such as a torn muscle or a strained ligament. A decrease in muscle strength can also occur in combination with conditions that are life threatening like spinal cord injuries, dehydration, or a stroke.
Decreased muscle strength sometimes has a sudden onset. This happens in conditions like torn muscles, or in disorders such as Bell’s palsy. Decreased muscle strength can also develop gradually and be a result of a neurologic disorder or disease. The condition is common in disorders of the central nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, or a herniated spinal disc.
A loss of muscle strength is often a symptom of a disease of the spine or spinal cord. When decreased muscle tone or strength occurs in these cases, it can indicate a compression of the nerves. Urgent surgery is sometimes needed to relieve the pressure. When weakness of the muscles occurs as a result of a spinal cord problem, an individual may also report changes in sensation and pain.
Decreased muscle strength also commonly occurs due to muscular diseases, conditions, or problems that affect the movement of muscles, or because of conditions that affect the body’s metabolism, such as an electrolyte imbalance. In some cases, loss of muscle strength is a result of prolonged inactivity.
Other symptoms often occur along with a decrease in the strength and tone of muscles. These symptoms can vary and depend on the underlying condition or disorder. Common symptoms that often accompany decreased muscle strength include pain or aching, and numbness or abnormal sensations in the weakened muscles. Fever and generalized fatigue are sometimes also present.
Decreased muscle strength and a loss of muscle tone can result in problems with balance and coordination, and with difficulty walking and performing daily tasks of life. This leads to an increased risk of falls and injuries.
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