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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

5 Possible Causes of Muscle Weakness in Arms (And What to Do About Them)

If you experience muscle weakness in your arms, it could be caused by a variety of different issues, ranging from everyday ailments to potentially life-threatening conditions. Fortunately, most cases of arm muscle weakness are not serious and can be easily treated with self-care methods such as rest and relaxation or at-home exercise. 

Here are five possible causes of muscle weakness in arms that you should know about.

5 Possible Causes of Muscle Weakness in Arms

1) Neuromuscular Disorders

Neuromuscular Disorders

A neuromuscular disorder is a group of diseases that affect the muscles and nerves, such as muscular dystrophies, multiple sclerosis (MS), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). 

Conditions like MS can be triggered by genetic factors or an environmental trigger such as exposure to cold viruses. A person with a neuromuscular disorder may gradually experience weakness or paralysis. 

The signs are very individualized so each person has their own normal. The most common early symptoms include tingling, pain, and cramping in muscles around the chest. This could indicate a condition called myasthenia gravis. Other signs include difficulty lifting arms above your head, abnormally slow reflexes and breathing trouble.

2) Thyroid Conditions

Thyroid Conditions

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck. Thyroid conditions such as underactive thyroid, hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s disease are common causes for weakness in arms. Left arm weakness with chest pain may need immediate medical attention. Nerve damage or compression in the neck or upper back is another possible cause for muscle weakness in arms. 

A variety of other illnesses can affect this body part; diabetes is one condition that decreases blood flow to muscles and can lead to left arm weakness. Brain tumors are another source of left arm weakness and should be considered if a patient has recently been diagnosed with cancer or another neurological disorder.

3) Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune diseases, such as Graves’ disease, myasthenia gravis, and Guillain-Barré syndrome, are treatable but they can be complicated. 

Graves’ disease is an autoimmune condition that affects the thyroid gland and typically develops after age 30. 

Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune condition that causes the muscles to become weak because the body mistakenly attacks a specific type of protein called acetylcholine receptor found on cells of muscle fibers. 

Guillain-Barré syndrome is an autoimmune disease where a person’s immune system damages the myelin sheath, which protects nerve cells from damage and slows down transmission between nerves and muscles.

4) Stroke


If there is a weakness on one side of the body and it lasts for more than two hours, you should seek medical help. Be aware that a stroke may happen with chest pain. 

These four risk factors should be avoided: smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. Drinking excessively could also cause problems. Other possible causes of muscle weakness in arms can include repetitive strain injury, nerve damage or compression in the neck or upper back or blockage in the bloodstreams.

It’s important to know these risks so that we are proactive about preventing problems!

5) Electrolyte Imbalances

Electrolyte Imbalances

An electrolyte imbalance such as hypokalemia (potassium deficiency), hypomagnesemia (magnesium deficiency), or hypercalcemia may be the cause. Symptoms may include dizziness, a weak grip, and fainting spells. Other signs may be nausea, confusion, muscle cramps and constipation. 

Left arm weakness with chest pain may need immediate medical attention.

How To Treat Muscle Weakness in Arms?

How To Treat Muscle Weakness in Arms

There are many different types of muscle weakness which can be caused by health problems, age, or even the weather. To diagnose your symptoms, contact your doctor.

Some easy at-home remedies include rest and relaxation.

It is also important to stay active and to perform light exercises you can do at home. 

In fact, a lot of people have difficulty with accomplishing tasks that require arm strength on a day-to-day basis, mainly because they have muscle weakness in their arms. The easiest way to fix this is to perform small exercises for the muscles in your arms and upper back, which will strengthen them. 

If you are looking for exercises that you can do at home, try some light weights or wearing a backpack for a few minutes each day.

You may read more on what to do about muscle weakness from the article below:

6 Ways to Get Rid Of Muscle Weakness and Fatigue

If your condition is worse, you may need below solutions:

Physical Therapy

This type of treatment involves different types of exercises. The therapist and the patient will work together to achieve the goals set for them by the doctor. The goal is to strengthen muscles and improve range of motion.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy works with your lifestyle and offers different ways to cope with your condition. If the patient has trouble performing everyday tasks, the occupational therapist will direct them toward various tools and devices which will make it easier to complete these tasks. This gives the patient a sense of independence.


If there is an underlying condition such as thyroid disease should be treated immediately by your doctor, who may also prescribe medications to control muscle weakness in arms.

Dietary Changes

A significant change in diet is usually recommended if the problem is due to a health condition that can be treated with dietary changes. For example, if you have hypoglycemia, your doctor may recommend a low-carbohydrate diet and exercise.


If the condition is serious and causes severe, persistent, or increasing muscle weakness, surgery may be recommended. This type of treatment is only used if there are multiple muscles affected and if the affected muscle can no longer perform its function.


The reasons for arm weakness can vary from everyday issues to potentially life threatening disease. If you are experiencing symptoms of arm weakness, it is always important to consult your physician for a professional diagnosis and treatment plan.

Improving your overall health and wellbeing can greatly assist with alleviating the affliction of arm weakness.

If you want to read more on muscle weakness illnesses, check the article below:

18 Must-Known Diseases That Cause Muscle Weakness

Thank you for reading.

If you have any feedback, you can reach us out on our e-mail info@shapeutopia.com

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