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Thread: ALS: Weakness in arms

  1. #1
    Forum Member Gillette's Avatar
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    ALS: Weakness in arms

    Hi everyone,

    My ALS started in my legs and has started to affect other parts of my body. My arms have become considerably weaker and I am unable to reach out more than a few inches. When I try to lift my arms or reach out I am getting pain in the arms.

    I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced pain in a similar situation?

    When I was given the diagnosis, I was told that MND is not a painful condition (except in a couple of situations), so I thought I would see if this pain is unusual.
    Dina


    Trying to keep positive, but not always managing.

  2. #2
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    I haven't experienced pain but I have loss of control in my arms and legs.

  3. #3
    Forum Member Kayleigh's Avatar
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    Hi Dina,

    I have read on the MNDA website that sometimes MND patients get pain from stiff joints, cramps, and pain that is not directly related to MND.

    Love
    Kayleigh
    Last edited by Kayleigh; 13th May 2019 at 06:41.

  4. #4
    Forum Member Ellie's Avatar
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    Hi Dina,

    Sorry you've pain.

    The process of motor neurons dying and associated nerve damage in ALS/MND isn’t painful and I can only think this is where the ‘no pain’ comes from, but most, if not all, of us will experience pain as the disease progresses, notably in our limbs and neck.

    This may be due to cramp, spasm, change in muscle tone making joints less supported, poor mobility, change in posture etc. and different causes will have different remedies - it may be massage, heat, exercise, medication, support braces, positional or a combination of these.

    Do you have a physiotherapist who can assess you? Often GPs just write a script for pain meds, when other meds or solutions might solve the root cause of the pain.

    When my arms were going, I had pain in muscles around joints because of low muscle tone not holding the joints in an aligned position. Physiotherapy and hydrotherapy gave me much relief.

    Good luck.

    Love Ellie.
    ​Diagnosed 03/2007. Sporadic Definite ALS/MND Limb Onset.
    Eye gaze user - No working limbs - No speech - Feeding tube - Overnight NIV.

  5. #5
    Forum Member Gillette's Avatar
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    Hi Kayleigh, hi Ellie,

    Thank you for your replies. I thought I would ask if anyone else gets anything like it.

    The pain seems to be along the muscles, rather than around or near the joints. I have the physio coming to see me in 10 days so I'll talk to her about it. And I'll be at the MND clinic a few days later so can mention it there, if need be.

    Hi Martin,

    Yes, my legs have gone completely and now my arms are galloping along as they're in a hurry to reach the same state!
    Dina


    Trying to keep positive, but not always managing.

  6. #6
    Forum Member JAY TEE's Avatar
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    Gillete sorry you got pain. I was formally diagnosed with ALS MND in few days time 5yrs ago and was 70 on Saturday. My MND all down my left side. Before diagnosis I had pain in my left hip and just assumed to long in the front row. Luckily can use arm a bit to grip sit standing hoist when being lifted in out of bed into wheelchair which sit in all day. Best wishes John

  7. #7
    Forum Member Gillette's Avatar
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    Hi Jay Tee/John

    Congratulations and a belated happy birthday.

    I was diagnosed six months ago. The pain in my arms has only recently started. It seems to be as my arms got weaker, the pain got stronger. I can no longer use either of my arms to help pull me up.
    Dina


    Trying to keep positive, but not always managing.

  8. #8
    Forum Member nunhead_man's Avatar
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    Hi Dina

    My take to kind of add to what Ellie has said is that motor neurone disease is no respecter of human physiology in that it sometimes takes out one of an opposing pair of muscles, or at least one of the pair becomes weaker than the other - so then when I try to do some for which I have muscle memory - e.g. lifting something, something goes twang leading to aches and pains.

    An example of a matching pair could be the bicep and tricep in my upper arm where the bicep lifts my wrist and the triceps resists my pushing down my wrist - my left bicep is more wasted than my left tricep and so I get aches and pains in my upper arm

    The biceps and triceps act against one another to bend and straighten the elbow joint. To bend the elbow, the biceps contracts and the triceps relaxes. To straighten the elbow, the triceps contract and the biceps relax.

    See [Figure 1] - https://www.ck12.org/book/CK-12-Life...section/11.10/

    Does that help at all?

    Warmly

    Andy
    Last edited by nunhead_man; 14th May 2019 at 09:57.
    Warmly


    Andy

    ​Diagnosed 03/2015. Limb onset (arm) sporadic ALS/MND.
    MND hitting - now 50% left arm and 90% right arm, plus other bits including left shoulder

  9. #9
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    Hi Gillette,

    Just thought, while I am on here that hubby is getting weaker in the arms (already one leg not working at all and the other weakening) and has difficulty lifting his porridge bowl up into the microwave. He experiences pain in his shoulders and the back of his neck as his head is apt to drop to his chin on his chest all of the while he is "walking" about. He has had this for a while now and the doctor prescribed ibuprofen gel, but it didn't help. I was told that a warm compress like a lavender pillow might help a while back, so could be worth a try?

    I hope you get some relief from it, as there is nothing so wearing as pain.

    So the answer to does he get pain is yes he does :-(

    Wailywoo x

  10. #10
    Forum Member Gillette's Avatar
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    Hi Andy,

    Thank you for your explanation. It makes a lot of sense. I just need to figure out which muscle is not playing nicely so that I can curse and swear at it.
    Dina


    Trying to keep positive, but not always managing.

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