Perceived arm weakness

Does anyone else have a sense of weakness in the arms that is not real? I don’t know exactly what muscle(s) is involved, it’s above the elbows. I get this feeling in particular positions, mostly when just sitting with arms bent at elbows at rest and when typing on the computer. I can also feel a sooner than normal annoying but bearable fatigue when holding an ipad. When I stand up with arms hanging down - nothing. Since I’m in a potential long relapse at the moment and I’m totally obsessed with every symptom I have I constantly test myself. So when I feel it I may get up and go work with dumbbells or do pull ups hanging from a bar. Strength is normal! There is no clinical weakness. If anything the symptom is annoying but also scary because of fear that it will become clinical weakness. Any ideas what is involved here - sensory/motor/spasticity?

Is it conceivable that you are only stressing say the biceps and not the triceps with your dumbells and pullups?


I get this - sometimes upper arm, sometimes lower arm. Always left side. Usually a sign I am tired and have been over doing it. I describe it as my arm feeling “nervous” - a bit like butterflies in the stomach. Occasionally I feel like I have a phantom elastic band around my wrist which has trapped the blood. It is very subtle - although I have noticed that when I have this sensation i’ll subconsciously cradle my left arm with the right or support it on the straps of my back pack. I have a session with a personal trainer once a week and he includes lots of dumb bell/ kettle bell work to check the relative strength and mobility of right v left. I also try and monitor fine motor skills in my fingers when I have butterflies. So far no difference - even when the left side is “nervous” - so it’s purely sensory. It doesn’t stay long either - so I see it as a mild sensory shadow left from the relapse which resulted in my diagnosis (and came from a lesion on the spine which resulted in some left side numbness (mainly feet) - and which has all but gone apart from this occasional shadowy visitor).

It is a reminder I have MS (when I’m otherwise pretty much symptom free) which isn’t great. On the positive, it is also a gentle reminder to look after myself re. diet, exercise and rest. Xx

Dumb bells and pull ups are your normal? Jeez, that is a whole new level from many of us. If you can do THAT, then I should not worry over much.

1 Like

Thanks for all replies.

mrbobowen - No because I also do the triceps and more

Katy79 - Thanks for all your tips. Everything was interesting since you also like to exercise. Your symptoms sound different though. Maybe I get the butterflies when my arm hangs down but it’s more (“worse”) than that. I’m testing my fine motor skills now - typing after three sets of pull ups haha. And doing the finger tap test! I do have fine hand tremor from a relapse in 2010 that has returned with this set of symptoms, but I think that’s unrelated. I notice this when I dip my finger into my eye cream to apply and sometimes when texting if the thumbs are fluttering a little.

reddivine - I know I’ve been fortunate so far. My symptoms have always been very mild and nothing new since 2011. I’m now in a potential long relapse but am aware of the risk of progressing. Hence the fear. Fear of aggressive progressive ms.

I’m also considering the possibility that the sense of weakness is a kind of central physical fatigue. I don’t know if that that even exists(?), but as opposed to a motor problem. I don’t have ms fatigue and cannot relate to that at all.

I really appreciate having somewhere to discuss the weirdness of ms. All my symptoms are invisible except the very mild hand tremor and all my husband sees is that I can do more pull ups than him!

Thanks all