Multiple Sclerosis Community
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1523516 tn?1330044257

Muscles get weaker the more I use them. Anyone relate?

I've noticed the more I use my muscles, the weaker I get.  In the mornings I'm stiff and then it seems to get a bit better as I move around.  But then after that short period of being fairly limber, the more I use my muscles I just get weaker.  I could kneel down to talk to a child (I teach) and when I stand up the muscle in my left leg especially, is so weak like it's rubber.  It's almost a painful stiffness/weakness. I could start blow drying my hair and after a minute or two my left arm is so weak I can't hold it up anymore.

Anyone else get like this?  On some days it feels like it takes all of my strength just to walk through the house ( I have a small home) and my left leg will get so weak it will buckle on me.

Thanks ahead of time for your input.  I would love to hear how your muscles affect you.
42 Responses
Avatar universal
Yes I have this problem. It's frustrating! My neuro just shrugs and says ms when I mention it. He did tell though that strengthening exercises wouldn't help as it has something to do with nerve conduction.
Avatar universal
Yes this happens to me too. Just like today I was outside sitting on a chair pulling weeds and every time I stood up it was a lot of work. I even get the shakes in my legs so much so it looks like I am failing at dancing. I find that if I start noticing this happening I take a break and relax for 30 mins or so and then try to get back to what I was doing. So my day ends up like do an hour of work, rest for 30 mins, work another hour, rest, etc.

Being a teacher I am sure you cannot get many breaks but try to take as many as you can whenever you can and it might help you out.
333672 tn?1273792789
Me, too. If I take a break, I recover some and can go on for a while, but as I repeat these cycles, the length of my recovery shortens until I just have to give it up.

I think this is called "central motor fatigue." One neuro says it's "related to activity-dependent conduction block in axons that are either demyelinated or inadequately remyelinated. This causes a reduced safety factor of conduction that fails with exercise or a rise in body temperature."


So it's not really the muscles, but rather the nerves that signal the muscles that cause the problem. If they've been damaged by MS, they send weaker signals to begin with and then wear out quickly. This leads to reduced speed and size of the electrical impulse to the muscles. At least that's how I understand it.

Avatar universal
I used to tell my doctor that I get tired.  One day he raised his hand above his head and then after 20 seconds or so he let it drop.  He asked if that was what I meant.  I was so excited that all I had to do was say "yes,yes,yes".

He said that was not tiredness or weakness but was fatiguability and had to do with nerve conduction to the muscles.

It might not be good to have it, but it was good to know that at least one person on this planet knew what I was feeling.

987762 tn?1331027953
Another yes from me, and i think you'll find almost all of us here experience this to some degree. This was and still is the one thing that i cant get my head around, oh i understand the why's of it but still i try for a different out come than the one I keep getting lol. I've been the sporty athletic type all my life, pushing through is soooo stuck in my head space, literally drummed into me as a gymnast that I still forget my reality.

In the last year or so DH has really taken to gym work outs, cardo, weight lifting, resistence etc and all the foods necessary to build muscle and its taken about that amount of time for him to get that 'we' are 'not' normal. It doesn't matter what the 'normal rules' are, they just dont work and often if you try to apply those 'rules' the result is just the opposite.

I'd not experienced anything like it prior to my big bang in 09, but i was aware something was going on though nothing in comparrison to what happens to me today. If i try to push through now, the muscle spasms and tremors go epic on me, grrrrr. When the muscle weakness takes over, I can get to the point were my body suddenly stops working on me, if i'm wakeboarding when it happens, i fold up like an acordian literally a boneless (wet) noodle lol.

It all comes down to understanding your limits and balancing that through out your day. Stretching, eating well and strengthening those muscles by limiting your repititions ruetine to shorter but multiple times or mini sets, is better than one work out because with mini sets, you wont usually get to your weakness point yet.

2015036 tn?1332997788
Yup, me too!  Fun huh?

1168317 tn?1330262837
yes oh yes am i with you on this !!!!!
its my main complaint that my muscles get tired so easily i cant do things that i once could because of it.

its so frustrating cos nothing helps to stop it i just have to take rests in between tasks ie,start stop start stop start . lol
it efects all my muscles especialy ams, n legs
hang in there
regards mick
338416 tn?1420045702
Yeah, you really can't exercise to make those muscles stronger.  You'll just get tired and weak, and it'll take a while to recover.  I discovered this in physical therapy - I just got really sore and tired.
2094545 tn?1335117731
1337734 tn?1336234591
This has been my biggest problem. I get muscle fatigue and weakness very quickly. I find that it gets worse if I overdue it. When that happens, I usually just need to sit for a long time and I can hardly walk. I'm very committed to stretching and excersizing. I try to work out in small increments so my muscles don't tire out. My problem is that sometimes I feel fine so I just keep going and then all of a sudden, the weakness hits hard and fast and I'm totally worn out. I really need to pace myself, but as you know, it's very frustrating!
Avatar universal
I know exactly what you're talking about. I am having the same issue. The longer I walk the slower I get and feels like it takes so much energy to move. Almost like I'm walking in quick sand. When I sit down and rest I'm stiff when I first get up; the first few steps are ok but I get progressively worse.

I'm now starting to get it in my arms/hands. I type all day so you can imagine what a joy this is going to bring!!

Best wishes...
2012515 tn?1353875525
Hey Stacie,
I too have experienced this  quite often and since my R leg is more stiff then the other the more I use it the heavier it gets and after awhile stairs or standing too long causes my legs to tremor.:(
This is one reason I had stopped teaching this year besides other issues and surgeries(sinus,cyst and hysterectomy).
I wish they're was a med for this!
Well, I just keep hoping and praying.:)

Also, I've been lifting you in prayer with all that you have going on.

Hugs and prayers,
Avatar universal

I am not diagnosed but waiting around for answers. I am terrible with limb tiredness and weakness. Blow drying hair any physical demands on my left leg and arm make them ache and tired. It's really wierd and I like some others used to be so active I am 33, but only a couple of years ago I was playing badminton ice skating etc and enjoyed keeping fit. I was also a gymnast as a child and well into my teens. Now if I try badminton or other stuff after a couple of minutes my legs can't keep me up I fall over they shake along with my arms because I have been using them, it really is awful, even typing this my left arm is resting on my leg it always needs support when using the computer. But I definately know what you mean about blow drying hair!! Its a real nuisance.
1045086 tn?1332126422
As I tell my neuro, "I can do most anything -- for a minute."

And as Toby Keith says, "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was."

I sometimes have the stiffness too but it isn't confined to a certain time of day.  That can come from spasticity but is also associated with degenerative arthritis.
333672 tn?1273792789
This morning I was reminded of a good example of this in real time. In the morning, I do some stretches. In one, I lie on my back with my legs straight and try to point my toes toward my nose. When I do this, after a bit my feet ever so gradually start slipping downwards, despite my ongoing intention of pushing up. This didn't used to happen and doing this everyday doesn't seem to build up my ability to do this exercise.

769745 tn?1345746412
Hi everyone
OMG.....i couldnt beleive what i read what luvnGod wrote, i thought i was going mad....i had a MRI scans on my brain to see if i have MS and it came back negative, in 2008. WHO in the world can tell us why are our muscles weak? Its driving me crazy....i diagnosed myself with Fibromyalgia after going to my G.P for two years and not getting anywhere, so i looked at the symptoms and found a answer which was Fibromyalgia. My Dr asked me if ive been on the internet and what did i come up with...lol...lol..he agreed lol..!!
Avatar universal
has anyone tried ampyra and had improvements with this problem?
3204881 tn?1345499926
I am on Ampyra. I have seen a great deal of improvement. My legs are not all the way better because of other issues but at least I don't need my cane anymore.
1760800 tn?1406753451
I am on AMpyra and the difference is amazing -  I too am not completely better but the difference is there and I can tell if I don't take it!
Avatar universal
my legs shake a lot when im sitting or when im driving and have to push on the brake for a while
4003901 tn?1349011493
This is exactly the question I was looking for.  I can't do the least little things anymore without wearing out,  Brushing my teeth, making cookies or any cooking, folding laundry.  It seems that anything I have to do with my arms does me in and kind of raises my heart rate a little.  I also have Graves Disease and some other autoimmune diseases.  Thanks for this post.
Avatar universal
It is so good to hear that others are having this problem and I'm not the only one.  I don't mean, I'm glad others are having this problem too, but that it is more common than I personally thought.  I go to my Neuro today to get the results of all the blood tests and MRI.  He was trying to narrow the results.  He has been considering MS for a while, which turned out to be Lyme Disease, and now we will see.  Thank you for your posts.

God be with each of you.
60995 tn?1359603014
I am soooo glad to see that some one has the same problem as I.
My family doesn't understand what I'm going through ! They think I am just wanting attentiom  Not so I always done all that a women does for her family and more You have said what I have felt for years As much as it hurt and no matter how week my legs got I still walked !
But now I can't do it anymore I get so I feel like I can't move my leg is getting weaker .Still trying to find a Dr. that will help me God knows I have many of them God bless you for saying what I have been trying to describe my pain and weekness
Please God help us all find somthing for this pain and weekness So we can go on living a normal life
Avatar universal
Is there any solution for this problem. The above describes exactly how I feel.
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