strange symptoms - 42 year old male


New member
May 24, 2024
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First, I hope I don’t have motor neuron disease or als and I apologize for the post to those that are suffering something awful.

I do have some odd symptoms that I wanted to run by you all. I am a healthy 42 year old white male. I’m worried about some sort of upper motor neuron dominant version of ALS and was hoping some of you guys could comment.

5 weeks ago I realized my left shoulder was sore / burning. It’s still like that most of the time though I think it’s more stiff than actually burning. That’s my primary symptom… muscle stiffness or spasticity that seems to shift from left side to right side, primarily in my shoulder blades and arms. It’s just gotten worse and worse and is not accompanied with not necessarily weakness but draining fatigue after a walk or any sort of exercise or just getting dressed in the morning. Everything feels heavy but if I needed to lift a chair I could do it. The fatigue improves with rest. Some shooting nerve pain though that’s probably just caused by the muscles being so tight just squeezing the nerves.

I have tremors / twitches basically all over the body. They were in my right chest for four or five days but now it's not there anymore and moved to other places. Get very shaky at times. feel like tingly skin, some pain. No cramping really just tightness I can’t make relax.

I don’t believe I’ve lost much if any strength. Even in that left shoulder, which gives me some comfort. I would get really tired but could lift 50 pounds on it still. Grip strength on both hands is still very good.

Primary Doctor said reflexes were normal though I have some balance issues. No issues with breathing, swallowing, or anything like that.

This is all about five weeks in. I guess my question is could upper motor neuron dominant ALS present this way? I am mostly worried about spasticity and severe fatigue.
Did your doctor say you were spastic? If not I do not believe you are. It doesn’t sound like it from your description

Fatigue is common and non specific. If your doctor hasn’t made acplan yet you need to go back and ask but I wouldn’t be asking about ALS

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You report sensory issues such as pain, tingling, burning, "shooting nerve pain", etc, plus symptoms that move around. UMN issues are not just stiffness, but a collection of very abnormal muscular responses to stimulation during clinical exam- as in, you have obviously abnormal reflexes (which you can't self test for). Further, spasticity is not just stiffness, but a particular inability to control muscles in pretty signature way. Your doctor would be able to detect abnormal responses via a basic neurological exam.

Hoping that provides some reassurance. I am sure your doctor provided some sort of information about further exploration? If not, and you are still worried, it's important to follow up with them in order to get help and answers.

Take care
No. I just assumed i was. It’s an uncontrolled stiffening of my shoulder and arm that burns and is a little painful but does kind of go away. It does make me tired though.
If your doc agrees, you could see an orthopedic surgeon to rule out a problem that started in your L shoulder. Sometimes these move around and subconsciously being afraid of aggravating pain can affect balance and fatigue. If you have a problem like this, early treatment, even if it's something like PT or massage therapy, may be most effective.

I agree that this sounds nothing like ALS. However, if ortho doesn't pan out, a neurology visit would seem appropriate to rule out other neuromuscular issues.