Muscle pain and weakness: 8 other causes

Healing, Muscle information / Monday, June 8th, 2009

When patients come to my Neuromuscular Therapy center near Boston with undiagnosed muscle pain and weakness, I always think about what causes there might be other than the two most recognized by medical professions: underuse (or deconditioning) and disease process. In light of the news story on ABC June 5, 2009 about muscle weakness caused by drinking excessive amounts of cola, here are some other reasons to consider that are less recognized by our conventional medical community.

Nerve entrapment: When nerves run through tight muscles or pass by a taut band caused by a Trigger Point, nerve signal transmission can be significantly reduced causing muscle weakness.

Trigger Point referral: Pain and weakness are symptoms of Trigger Points.

Muscle energy crisis: Lack of ATP or energy molecules used for fuel caused by hypertonic or ischemic conditions in the muscle where blood flow is limited will cause muscle weakness.

Muscle tension: Muscles in constant contraction can’t lengthen and therefor use only a small portion of the available muscle for power.

Nourishment: There are nutrients that are essential for neuromuscular functioning. Insufficient amounts of these nutrients can cause muscle weakness. Here is a good link:

Dehydration and electrolyte imbalance: I’m always touting the necessity of getting enough water to prevent and to heal muscle problems. Here are two of many reliable sources of information on this subject: and

Muscle imbalance: When one muscle is chronically tight, the opposing muscle will be weak.

Overuse fatigue: This is common in sports, but do you think of yourself as an athlete when you are on the computer too many hours a day or have muscle tension from being stressed? Your muscles can get tired and weak from too much activity without sufficient rest and refueling.