What Causes Muscular Fatigue? Symptoms And Treatment Options

Muscle fatigue is seen as a reduction in the force exerted by the muscles which are involved in a physical activity.

Common causes of muscular fatigue are:

  • Too strenuous and wrongly done exercise is a key cause of muscle fatigue. Athletes and sports-people are prone to muscle fatigue, given that, they over stress themselves with high intensity workouts.
  • Anemia is seen when there are very few red blood cells in the body. A lack of oxygen carrying blood cells leads to muscle fatigue.
  • Another important cause is hyperkalemia; an overdose of potassium this condition is seen as muscle weakness, exhaustion, and muscle spasms. Kidney disorders, side effects of certain drugs, and diabetes cause an accumulation of excess potassium in the body.
  • Muscle weakness is also a side effect to some prescription and non-prescription drugs.
  • An abnormally functioning thyroid gland causes muscle fatigue. Both hypothyroidism as well as hyperthyroidism triggers muscle fatigue. Diabetes mellitus and coronary conditions are vital causes too.
  • Impairment to the brain or the nerves is known to cause muscle fatigue as well.
  • Muscles need energy to contract. They use ATP and glycogen to work. In case they do not get sufficient fuel, they fail to generate force, thus triggering fatigue. A buildup of waste products in the muscle fibers also hampers their functioning.
  • Neuromuscular fatigue occurs when nerves controlling the muscles fail to stimulate the muscles to contract. This is seen in those having neuromuscular diseases, such as, myasthenia gravis.
  • Other probable etiological factors include – prolonged stress, smoking, lack of sleep and too much consumption of alcohol.
  • An unhealthy and inadequate diet also sets off muscle fatigue.

Signs And Symptoms Of Muscular Fatigue

  • While you work out for a protracted period of time, you feel exhausted and fatigued. You may not be able to work out at the same pace. This occurs because the muscles fail to produce adequate force. The muscles get tired to such an extent that they cannot exert a normal force, or need more efforts to exert the normal force. The whole body may also be affected and there will also be an overall feeling of low energy. Occasionally, only a single group of muscles may get afflicted, causing localized powerlessness.
  • There will be a lack of enthusiasm, bad temper and lethargy. Some develop sore muscles, loss of appetite, poor concentration, and impairment of the memory. Muscle twitching and breathlessness are associated features too.
  • Muscle fatigue influences the movements of the associated joints.
  • The symptoms of muscle fatigue are similar in males and females, however, females are more susceptible.

Treatment Options For Muscular Fatigue

  • In case the situation has arisen because of your exercise routine, it is very vital that you consult a trainer and modify exercise pattern promptly. Have a trainer / instructor guide you to prevent overexertion and exhaustion.
  • Anemia is successfully managed with supplements, foods and medicines.
  • Likewise, if you have a thyroid anomaly, confer with your health care provider and start the appropriate treatment regimen.
  • On the other hand, if you are experiencing muscle fatigue as consequence to certain drugs, it is important that you bring this to your doctor’s notice and discontinue it.
  • Excess of potassium is managed with the help of medication and diuretics. You also need to adhere to a proper diet to prevent the condition in future.
  • Heart disorders, diabetes mellitus and stress need to be handled carefully and skillfully.