Evanston, Illinois, Luna’s physical therapists specialize in treating patients suffering from chronic muscle weakness. Our PTs help patients improve their quality of life with treatment programs designed to address their condition safely, promptly, and effectively.
The best part? With Luna, patients can receive physical therapy right at home — for muscle weakness and a range of other conditions. Our physical therapists come to you — it’s physical therapy, delivered.
Although pain, fatigue, and weakness can all hinder muscle use, they’re actually discrete symptom classifications. Fatigue is a feeling of tiredness, exhaustion, or lack of energy, which may make it difficult to use the muscles. Similarly, when patients are experiencing muscle pain, it may be uncomfortable to move the affected areas.
Muscle weakness, however, comprises its own classification. For patients experiencing muscle weakness, moving the muscles may not be a matter of overcoming exhaustion or discomfort — certain movements actually might not be possible. Muscle weakness often occurs as the result of another health problem, such as a thyroid problem, a stroke, a spinal cord injury, or a chronic muscle disorder.
Source: U of Michigan
“Muscle weakness” can refer to a wide array of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe and from acute to diffuse. Patients with chronic muscle disorders such as muscular dystrophy may experience weakness all over the body, while patients who have suffered an injury or stroke may have weakness in just one half or one part of the body.
When patients experience muscle weakness, they may have difficulty performing even the most simple actions in their daily lives. Rising from a chair, walking, showering, lifting objects, or even smiling may become difficult or near-impossible. Depending on the severity and cause of the weakness, patients may need intervention from specialists or intensive physical therapy.
The most common symptoms of muscle weakness include:
Source: Harvard Health
Muscle weakness can be attributed to a number of preexisting health conditions; it’s considered a symptom, not a disorder. Unless muscle weakness can be directly attributed to a tough workout or exhaustion, it’s almost always due to an underlying condition. Injury or illness associated with the brain, nervous system, or the muscles themselves can all result in chronic muscle weakness.
A stroke or spinal cord injury can cause sudden muscle weakness, as can chronic fatigue syndrome, muscular dystrophy, Graves disease, Guillain-Barre syndrome, ALS, or prolonged immobilization (i.e. bed rest).
The most common causes of muscle weakness include:
Physical therapy is a leading treatment option for patients experiencing persistent muscle weakness. At the beginning of a PT program, a physical therapist will assess your muscle weakness and design a plan around your particular case. Typically, a muscle strengthening plan will consist of gentle, low-impact exercises that target the affected muscles, gradually ramping up in intensity as the plan progresses.
Strengthening exercises are typically combined with flexibility and balance exercises to ensure that the patient is developing muscle strength safely and effectively.Source: Move Forward PT