Muscle Fatigue and Tightness

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New member
Dec 2, 2022
Loved one DX
Hi Everyone,

I am 31-year-old female with no prior medical issues or history. My mother was diagnosed in 2018 with ALS so I’ve seen firsthand how devastating and difficult this journey is.

In April 2021, I started having muscle tightness and fatigue in my right hand (pinky & ring finger). My primary care doctor believed it was perhaps from sitting all day at desk and provided some physical therapy exercises to practice. Nothing changed for several months even with the exercises and buying a standing desk and I lived with the tightness because there wasn’t any pain or other symptoms.

In January 2022, I started having a feeling of my fourth toe on my right foot begin to feel like it was stuck to the ground. I immediately panicked because this is one of the first symptoms that my mom experienced. I was in the process of moving at the time and put off going to the doctor. The feeling subsided but came back again in June 2022. I finally saw my PCP again in August 2022 and he ordered multiple MRIs and bloodwork but all imaging was denied by insurance even after an appeal.

For the last several weeks, the tightness in my right forearm, which also now includes my right bicep has been much worse. In the gym, I feel like I can do the same exercises as my left side but afterward the fatigue felt by my right side (both arm and leg) is much more extreme compared to my left. I’m constantly having to take breaks from the computer because my arm gets so tired just from typing. I’ve also felt twitching over several parts of my body, not just the right but I’m trying to keep a level head and not worry about that symptom. No coordination issues in the foot or hand. Just tightness, fatigue, & overall weird sensation in my right pinky finger and toe.

I’ve vaguely mentioned my symptoms to my mom but don’t want to place any more stress or worry on her. She was tested for familial markers and did not posses any of the primary genes so I know my chances are small. However, given that my symptoms are only felt on one side of my body has me extremely worried & at a loss for what could be causing this.

My PCP has referred me to a neurologist in hopes they can have a better chance at pushing through the imaging and testing needed with insurance. I haven’t been scheduled yet, hopefully soon so more to come. Just checking if these symptoms sound familiar to anyone else in the forum.
Very sorry about your mom. Feel free to seek support about any aspect of her progression. She is welcome here as well.

Tightness and weirdness on one side is often down to how you sleep or work (at a desk, like you, or on your feet). Weightlifting or other training can also play a role; sometimes people inadvertently lean to one side or otherwise overload it. You might ask a trainer to observe your routine.

I don't see any reason to think about ALS and expect your visit will be reassuring. A podiatrist would not be a bad idea. If advanced imaging of your foot is needed, a podiatrist is more likely to get it approved than a PCP.

Till then, you can video your sleep, inspect your pillow/mattress/work chair/sofa, etc.

Oh wow I'm sorry about your mum and how much this is affecting you.
Please realise that many people get scared of ALS in themselves when a relative is diagnosed.
I hope you can understand how this just can't be the case and give your time and attention to your mum as every day counts.

Talk honestly with your doctor and see about some counselling and even medication help if needed. I certainly needed the help of meds and counselling when I was caring for my husband. I hope you can find some relief and help.
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