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New member
Apr 14, 2019
Learn about ALS
Hey everyone,

I’ve been doing lots of research and not getting good information from my doctors - and it’s gotten to a point where I’m getting extremely anxious/scared and just need help and opinions from others.

So I suffer from muscle atrophy and weakness in my left side (notably my left pec, left lat and left tricep). I’m an avid powerlifter and bodybuilder - and I noticed the weakness on 02/20 when I was benching 455 on my previous chest day only to struggle with 225 this one. Since then I have a hard time contracting my chest to its fullest capability as well as my lat and also I think important to mention I’ve never had any trauma, pain, numbness, tingling, etc... if I didn’t train I wouldn’t know I was impaired at all. I’ve also had some small muscle spasms in my left tricep and my left pec (the frequency has definitely lessened - can’t remember the last time it happened).

By the way I’ve read the sticky. I’ve never lost “full strength” since the initial notice, other than the atrophy the loss of strength hasn’t been getting worse. This is where I’m getting confused.

Last Wednesday I had a NC/EMG done with a physiatrist. During the exam he did several reflex tests and then did the NC and said everything looks normal. Now during the EMG he noticed some abnormalities - I can’t remember specifically as I didn’t know what to look for but on my tricep he kept telling me to relax - so I figure that’s gotta be one of them. At the end of the exam he said he noticed some entrapment at the C6 C7, said some of the atrophy probably won’t go away - but that it also shouldn’t get worse. Now I would LOVE to believe it’s simply a pinched nerve, but even he finds it weird I have no sensory issues.
It's not unknown not to have sensory symptoms with a pinched nerve. If you want to post the full report (which you should get/keep for your own records, like all other tests), without showing your name, we could be more helpful.

Thanks for the reply - I never got a copy of the report, however I’ll request one tomorrow. Also worth mentioning he only did my left side (tricep, bicep, forearm, hand and lat) - not my whole body. He also requested that I get a ct scan.
No one is doing a whole body EMG. In ALS, doing an EMG on several limb muscles will show some particular abnormalities on the test. Doing one side as you report is common.
One more question I had is in regards to the sticky - the muscle weakness described seems like it’s all or nothing, doesn’t make things harder, makes them impossible. Now I’ve still been in the gym able to workout moderately - in fact my lateral delt has remained the same strength as it was prior (on both sides). Because what I thought prior was that it may be gradual - but perhaps I’m wrong.

I’m having massive anxiety, I didn’t sleep at all last night because I noticed a little twitching on my left tricep.
As it says in the sticky it is sudden in an individual muscle. You know from the gym that many ( most) movements involve multiple muscles so as long as certain muscles needed work they may partially compensate for most things but there will be something that is suddenly impossible.

None of this matters in your case though because your emg reported an issue with an isolated area. When I started symptoms the muscle where I had failure showed a classic ALS pattern but they also saw abnormalities in other muscles where I did not have problems yet. And no I was not just not noticing. I was a group exercise instructor so pretty aware and also had several neurologist exams before symptoms started in the other muscles they had noted
You do not have ALS. Your lack of ALS symptoms and your non-ALS EMG attest to that. If you had ALS, do you really think the doctor would have let you go merrily on your way? No, you would have heard what my husband heard, which was, "I'm sorry, I believe you have ALS. You should get your affairs in order ASAP".

You didn't sleep last night because of YOU, not because of a disease you've been told you don't have. When you have ALS, you fail to do things, it is not hard, you just can't do them. Button your shirt, zip your pants, clip your nails, hold salad tongs etc. That's how ALS starts, not because of twitching. Let it go now. For your own mental health.
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