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Muscle Fatigue

All of us suffer from muscle fatigue at some point or the other in our lives, as it is a very normal condition. It can have many causes and symptoms, which are mentioned in the following article, so take a look.
Muscle fatigue takes place when the muscles in our body can't exert normal force to perform a particular function. In this condition, the body has to put in extra or more amount of effort than the normal, to achieve the desired level of force. This type of fatigue is also known as weakness which is a symptom of many other serious physical disorders. The lack of muscle strength is the basic symptom of a variety of skeletal muscle diseases like muscular dystrophy and inflammatory myopathy. Many times there can be fatigue in joints as well, which leads to very painful conditions that stay for life. There are many reasons or causes for this type of malfunction, most of which are neural, which means governed by nerve based motor commands. This nerve command declines the force output which leads to the reduction in muscle strength and leads to fatigue and weakness. This reduced neural drive is also helpful sometimes, when the body is over exerted and the brain wants you to stop pushing more than its capacity. In the following paragraphs, we will discuss the various degrees, causes, and symptoms, so keep reading.

Extreme Fatigue

The degrees or the severity of the fatigue can vary in many ways. There can be non-severe and severe conditions for fatigue, depending on how stressed your muscles are. When there is a slight feeling of tiredness and nothing more than exertion, it can be resolved by resting and relaxing your muscles. This is the normal condition of fatigue which is temporary and only needs resting the body. But when there is a sever ache of the body muscles in one or many parts of the body, it is the severe type of fatigue which needs more than physical rest. This is also known as extreme fatigue when you have multiple spasms in the body and movement is restricted due to muscle weakness.

Chronic Fatigue

There is another condition, or syndrome which is known as the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) or Fibromyalgia. This condition is mainly observed with women but is not restricted to age, sex or race. It is not a temporary condition but stays for at least six months or longer and has adverse effects on the body. It involves very serious fatigue and weakness issues, which prolong for almost 24 hours and more. There are other symptoms which are also shown, that display the inability of the body to take illness. The most prominent symptom that is displayed due to this abnormality is the reduced immunity against daily infections like the common cold and elevation of body temperature.

What Causes Fatigue?

There are many reasons which cause muscle pain, out of which some are caused due to other diseases in the body.

Calcium: The main causes are due to the lack or reduction of calcium in the body. Calcium being one of the most important factors required for the building and strengthening the body muscles, has to be present in required amounts. Since the entire human body is supported by these muscles, there is a major requirement of this compound and when it is not sufficient it causes, fatigue and weakness. Calcium is the compound which stimulates the contraction of actin and myosin, which are the two reasons for the efficient movement of these muscles. And when they refuse to contract, the muscles cannot function adequately to perform a desired action.

Others: The other causes could be physical or neural reasons, as they stimulate the stress to these muscle fibers. As mentioned earlier, when there is extra exertion of the muscle fibers due to any physical activity, the neurons command the muscles to reduce their activities. Thus, the body starts showing symptoms of exertion and weakness. If the muscles are already fatigued and are still used forcefully to perform, there can be severe problems, where in the body gives up and the immune system does not respond to certain illnesses. This eventually puts the entire metabolism on hold and demands a complete resting condition for the muscles.

Symptoms

The symptoms shown during fatigue may be as follows:
  • Exertion that interferes with daily activities, is not relieved by rest, and continues for six months or longer.
  • More than 24 hours of weakness and fatigue following moderate exercise (sometimes this fatigue may occur one or two days later).
  • Pains that spread to joints but do not cause redness or swelling.
  • Low fever (up to 101 degrees) or chills.
  • Painful lymph nodes.
  • Confusion and irritability.
  • Headaches that feel different than those you have had in the past.
  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating, and remembering.
  • Sore throat.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Temporary blind spots or sensitivity to light.
With this information about fatigue, there is only one treatment, which is to include a lot of calcium in your diet, and do not exert yourself beyond capacity. Hence, take care of your muscles, as they are one of the most essential needs of your body.
By Aparna Jadhav
Last Updated: 10/14/2011
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