Can Anyone Explain Weak Arms?

Over the past while my arms have become very heavy and weak, to the point of it being very uncomfortable even reaching into cupboards, or worse, grating cheese. shampooing hair, etc.,

I thought it would be a “direct” MS symptom, and mentioned it to MS nurse.

He said it was probably a symptom of fatigue, but I don’t understand how, if they feel progressively weaker?

Any ideas, anyone?

Hi Sparkledust,

No explanations but I experience the same thing except I was getting severe pain in my arms as well which made all the things you mention excruciating to do. I did mention it when I saw my neuro and he said it depended where the inflammation was. I’m on gabapentin for the pain and it has helped considerably though my arms continue to feel ‘strange’.

yes i have weak arms too.

they were really bad a couple of years ago but i did all my physio and went to the gym until they improved.

but i’ve stopped going to the gym because it was making me feel faint. my arms are weak again now.

anyway once i’ve stopped feeling faint i’ll go back to the gym.

what a bumpy ride this ms is!

carole x

Thanks, guys.

Do you think that means it’s an actual seperate symptom from fatigue?

I wonder if it’s common.

If your nurse means muscle fatigue then I agree. Sometimes muscle weakness can be helped by physio and might be worth trying.

It’s very common and part of MS doing its evil work.

I’ve got muscle weakness - at first only my legs, but arms too, these days - and have always assumed it to be common with MS.

In my case, I was noticing it even some years before I was diagnosed. I always found it strange that if I tried to go for a jog, my legs would get too tired BEFORE I was even out-of-breath, so I never got a proper cardio/aerobic workout.

Personally, I don’t rank it along with fatigue, because for me, the fatigue is a much more generalised sense of lethargy - much more cognitive/psychological. I consider it two different symptoms. But I agree with Whammel that IF your MS nurse was talking in the more specific sense of muscle fatigue, then yes, it does fit the bill for that.

Even if that is what your nurse meant, I’m a bit surprised he didn’t pick-up on muscle weakness as a common - and yes, direct - symptom of MS. Seems odd to me that a professional wouldn’t recognize a very typical symptom. Perhaps he just didn’t have a very good way of explaining, and it came across as a bit vague.


Not sure if this helps but when my first main relapse hit in march, the first thing I noticed together with total lack of coordination was lack of strength in my arm and hand. They felt (and still do) really heavy and i can’t fully straighten it. I couldn’t even press a button although whether that was to do with lack of strength or something else that made that impossible I’m not sure. Still waiting to see MS nurse with all my questions. See neuro again in October if I havn’t seen her by then. I only suffer from fatigue sometimes but my arm is always heavy. Hope that helps a bit. Mish x

My arms are weak and if I do any sort of exercise with them I have spasms… All I did on Friday was hold an MS collection box on my buggy, didn’t even lift it up and arms and shoulders were aching and twitching all night.

I don’t know if it is fatigue but it seems to be pretty permanent these days.

Wendy x

Hi all

I have recently been diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS and until recently I just had episodes of numbness in fingers / toes / small bit of facial numbness, and each episode would last for days / weeks and then go away.

However, in the last while I’ve been feeling some aches in my arms and legs, numbness around the jaw and my arms feel slightly weak. I didn’t write down any details so I don’t know whether the appearance of the above coincided with / came shortly after diagnosis or whether it was a while after diagnosis (which was 2 months ago) - I can’t remember exactly when this started.

I don’t know whether it’s a symptom of stress / tiredness or whether it is something to worry about. Because the episodes I had went away each time and were mild, my diagnosis was “mild possibly even benign MS”, but these aches have been around for a while and I’m really really worried that it’s now going to ramp up and I’ll have longer / different relapses or even switch from relapsing remitting to secondary progressive. The idea terrifies me.

What do you think?

Thanks for all your helpful replies, and sorry for delay in answering (went out to a show on Friday, and had to recover since)

No. MS nurse definitely only meant it was a form of tiredness, proven, he said, by the fact that both my arms were affected.

Hi Vincere,

I’ve got RRMS too, and don’t think you should bother so much. I get loads of different symptoms too, and think it’s just par for the course in RRMS.

I know it’s hard, but try not to worry so much, or if you really can’t stop hassling, phone your MS nurse for reassurance.


Hi,I’m new to this forum, I was diagnosed with Ms in Sept 2019 after suffering symptoms since 2011, after my relapse where my eyes went, the doctors wanted me to go on the drugs, I have suffered with migrains daily, lost my legs and could not walk for months, vertigo and vomiting, terrible fatigue, head fog, double vision, weak arms and legs, out of breath, most of this daily, so I was needing to sort this out, as I have 2 kids to look after. I don’t like taking drugs even when I’m ill, I allways think what does my body need or has done to cause this. So I took this approach to Ms and started researching all about what is actually happening and what’s going on. Cutting a lot of research down, cause is your cells going wrong from things you eat, getting all confused and going back out out through your colon, and attacking it’s I started a gluten and dairy free diet in January and within a week I felt as though I don’t have ms, I could not believe the transformation in me. Since I have been everyone so often having a little treat like cheese & biscuits and boom! I’m back feeling ill again, so I don’t touch the stuff, I don’t drink and eat lots of veg and fuit, vit D fish oils, v formula, and yoga. I’m not saying to Suddenly stop taking what your doing as each person is very different but it’s surely worth checking out , it could change your life. I read and article in the Alex that my dad cut out for me, that gave me hope, it was a professor who had ms and was in a wheelchair and had been for yrs, after taking on this diet and change of life after a yr he was bounding down the stairs 2 at a time, and was in remission. You will have to most likely pursue this yourself as the nhs don’t make money out of you not taking drugs, if your interested in giving it a go, find a good herbalist and open minded doctor to tell them of your plans , especially if you are already along way into the drugs. If you have recently been diagnosed and have not taken that road yet , then I would recommend you try this first. Thanks for listing good luck.