Pediatric Weakness of One or More Limbs
Weakness causes reduced muscle strength and the feeling that extra effort is required to move the arms, legs or other muscles.
Weakness is defined as a lack of physical or muscle strength, accompanied by the feeling that extra effort is required to move the arms, legs or other muscles. General weakness commonly occurs after a child has done too much physical activity at one time, such as starting a new exercise regimen or climbing up stairs. This type of weakness usually goes away on its own, within a few days.
In rare situations, other health problems can cause generalized muscle weakness, such as:
- Guillain-Barre syndrome (nerve disorder that causes muscle weakness, eventually leading to complete paralysis)
- Hyperthyroidism (high thyroid level; thyroid glands control hormones)
- Hypothyroidism (low thyroid level)
- Infections, such as a urinary tract infection (UTI) or a respiratory infection
- Low levels of potassium or sodium in the body
- Myasthenia gravis (condition that causes weakness and quick muscle fatigue)
Weakness in one or more limbs is characterized by a feeling that moving those muscles requires more energy than usual, or moving those muscles is going to be uncomfortable or even somewhat painful.