Are you exhausted, tired, and drained, like a one-armed paper hanger returning from work or workouts? In addition, the tiredness is such extreme that moving your muscle seems like dragging a thousand tons truck.
Tired and weak muscle after a day’s work or workout is not uncommon; however, there’s a limitation to that weakness. When your tiredness becomes extreme, some underlying issues might need medical attention.
If you consider yourself the only one thinking, “why do my muscles get tired very quickly” – relax – there are several in the ship of fatigue and muscle weakness.
If you want to know more, join us.
What Is Muscle Fatigue?
Muscle fatigue is a common complaint people make after heavy work or physical exercise. The weakness most of the time includes extreme tiredness, diminished energy, and being unable to work, usually for days.
When you do physical tasks or start working out, your muscles initially seem strong, sturdy, and stout. However, repeating moves and actions over time may make your muscle weak and exhausted. And this is muscle fatigue.
With muscle fatigue, your muscle’s strength and ability decrease. The force that helps you move your muscles decreases immensely, and you feel exhausted like a worn-out shoe.
Primarily it occurs after arduous activities or exercise. However, some underlying medical conditions can cause your muscle to get tired quickly. As a result, you feel fatigued.
In many cases, an infection can also be the reason for muscle fatigue.
Muscle Fatigue Symptoms
Muscle fatigue is common and can occur in any part of your body. The primary symptom is muscle weakness; other symptoms you can also experience that include-
- Muscle cramp
- Muscle pain
- Muscle twitching
- A poor grip
- Shortness of breath
If your daily activities seem difficult and dragging with worsening progression, don’t wait. Seek medical attention immediately.
My Concierge, MD, is a premier destination where expert doctors perform a thorough check-up to get an accurate update about your muscle’s health. The sooner you can detect the cause, the earlier your muscle fatigue will reverse.
What Are The Causes Of Muscle Weakness?
Fatigue in muscle occurs due to exercise or heavy activities primarily. However, several reasons can cause weakness in your muscles. Some are common, some uncommon, and a few rarest.
Let’s see what can cause muscle fatigue.
The Common Cause of Muscle Fatigue
Several common factors form muscle fatigue. These are-
Aging is a natural phase of life. Your muscle mass decreases, and you lose strength. However, true-to-life changes are often frustrating. Your injury recovery times get longer, your balance becomes poor, and your bone becomes thinner to break easily.
However, safe and careful exercise under proper supervision can often increase muscle power and strength.
Lack of Use
Sedentary and inactive life is always harmful. It can lead to deconditioning – the lack of muscle fitness.
In this condition, fat replaces the fibers within the muscle, making your muscles less bulky and saggier. As a result, you encounter extreme muscle weakness after exercise.
The good news is regular exercise can reverse this condition; however, if you remain sedentary, increasing age can make it worse.
Infections and illnesses are common causes of muscle fatigue. Especially illness, including temperature and inflammation. This weakness is usually temporary; however, the recovery period may last longer. Several of these illnesses include-
- Glandular fever
- Lyme disease
- Hepatitis C
Many chronic diseases reduce blood and nutrient supply in your muscle. As a result, you encounter muscle fatigue. These chronic conditions include-
- Heart disease
- Peripheral arterial disease – increasing cholesterol that narrows the arteries
- Chronic kidney disease
- Chronic lung disease, especially chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Several conditions affecting your mind can impact your muscle tiredness too. These conditions include-
Fatigue is normal during pregnancy. High steroid levels and low iron can cause your muscle to feel tired.
Direct damage or injury to your muscle can cause muscle fatigue. You can be injured in many ways – sporting injuries, pulls, or sprains.
Due to muscle injury, your muscle fibers encounter bleeding, swelling, and inflammation. As a result, you experience muscle weakness.
Several medicines can damage your muscle as side effects and cause muscle fatigue. Often this condition resolves with discontinuation of the medication. However, continuing those medicines can make the damage and weakness permanent.
Medicines with muscle-damaging side effects include-
- Anti-inflammatory painkillers
- Oral steroids
- Several heart medicines
- Chemotherapy medicines
- Overactive thyroid medicines
- Anti-HIV medicines
Insomnia and disturbed sleep are tiredness triggers which include muscle fatigue too. You may face struggle sleeping due to many reasons that have-
- Restless legs syndrome (RLS)
- Work pressure or shift work
- Chronic pain
Other Muscle Damaging triggers
Several substances can damage your muscle, causing your muscles to become tired pretty quickly. These substances are-
- Smoking – causing arterial disease
- Alcohol – weakening shoulder and hip muscle
- Using drugs like cocaine – weakening muscles mass
The Uncommon Cause of Muscle Fatigue
Often you experience muscle weakness due to some conditions that are not usually common.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a condition involving extreme tiredness. Several viral infections like glandular fever or influenza may cause it. You need an enormous effort to perform any muscle activity, even talking and socializing seem tiring. This condition can trigger-
- Poor sleep
- Psychological exhaustion
It’s a condition that causes pain in your body almost everywhere. Your muscles become so tender that they tend to tire quickly.
Hypothyroidism is a hormonal condition where you have an underactive thyroid hormone. Fatigue and poor muscle mass are common symptoms of this condition. If you don’t treat this condition, muscle deterioration can increase, become long-lasting, and be challenging to reverse.
Several inflammatory conditions of muscles can affect your muscles severely, causing muscle fatigue. These conditions include-
- Polymyalgia rheumatic
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Conditions, including nerve issues, often cause muscle waste and weakness. These conditions include the following-
- Multiple sclerosis – damaged nerves in the brain and spinal cord, causing sudden paralysis
- Guillain-Barre syndrome – a post-viral paralysis causing muscle weakness in fingers and toes
- Parkinson’s disease – a progressive disorder with uncontrollable tremors and stiffness in the muscle
If your muscles get partially or entirely paralyzed, they lose strength, leading to muscle waste. Some cerebrovascular diseases can cause this condition, including-
- Brain hemorrhage
- Spinal injury
- Brain tumor
Muscle weakness can also occur due to spinal-related nerve damage, such as slipping out a lower back or neck disk. The weakness usually occurs in the affected nerve area.
Imbalanced salt and water levels can cause muscle exhaustion and fatigue.
The Rare Cause of Muscle Fatigue
Some rare genetic and other medical conditions can result in muscle weakness.
Genetic or inherited diseases can affect your muscle in many cases.
- Muscular dystrophies – the gradual loss of muscle power and function
- Sarcoidosis – a rare disease involving clumps of cells formation in skin, lungs, and soft tissues, including muscles
- Amyloidosis – having abnormal and unhealthy protein in the body
- Myotonic dystrophy – a rare genetic muscle disorder involving extremely exhausted muscles
- Inherited metabolic conditions
Some rare medical conditions weaken your muscles by affecting the nerves.
- Motor neuron disease (MND) – a rare progressive nerves disorder, starting at your outer extremities where hands and feet slowly move inwards
- Myasthenia gravis – a rare muscle disorder involving extremely exhausting muscles with a long recovery time
It’s a rare condition involving an underactive adrenal gland that leads to steroid shortage and imbalanced salt levels in your blood.
Muscle Fatigue: Diagnosis
Why do my muscles fatigue so quickly during workouts? Is it only me who has weak muscles all over my body?
If you are experiencing extreme muscle weakness and are desperately searching for an answer, seeking medical attention is the priority. Only a proper diagnosis can detect your issue and determine your physician to start treatment.
You can schedule a day with Dr. David Nazarian at My Concierge, MD, to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment of your muscle tissues.
At first, your healthcare provider will thoroughly discuss your muscle weakness, duration, symptoms, and medical history. He may also perform further checking of your muscle that include-
- Muscle tone
For further and detailed evaluation, he may make you perform several tests, including-
- Nerve tests to check the function of your nerves
- Electromyography (EMG) for nerve activity
- CT scans and MRI to check your internal skeleton
- Blood tests to detect infection or other medical issues
Your physician usually provides a treatment plan, evaluating all the tests, physical examination, and medical history.
How To Strengthen Weak Muscles: The Treatment
Muscle fatigue treatment usually depends on the underlying reasons causing your weakness.
Here are some treatment options for you-
Physical therapy usually includes exercise to improve your muscle weakness and the quality of your life. Your therapist may suggest-
- Progressive resistive exercise
- Motion exercise
Occupational therapy involves exercises to strengthen your body, especially the upper portion. It often includes assistive devices and tools to improve your daily activities.
Over-the-counter painkillers may include your treatment plan to manage painful issues like peripheral neuropathy or CFS.
If your underlying cause is hypothyroidism, doctors recommend thyroid hormone replacement therapy to restore hormonal imbalance.
You may need surgery for particular conditions like a herniated disc or hypothyroidism.
Your doctor may change your dietary plan for several conditions, such as electrolyte disorder or hormonal imbalance. Often they include supplements – calcium, magnesium oxide, or potassium oxide – to improve your muscle condition.
“Why do my muscles get tired very quickly after any activities or physical exercise?” – once it was my day-to-day question. If you’re asking the same frustrating question to yourself, contact My Concierge, MD, to get the reply and remedies.
Muscle fatigue can be frustrating. However, you can reverse the condition with proper diagnosis, treatment, and care and get healthy, strong, and sturdy muscle.