Does Using Your Arms Cause Weakness For You?

I have a huge problem with my arms. I am wondering if others with fm and cfs have the same issue. If I tackle a job like cleaning a window, folding clothes, lifting things to hang them up or raking up a few leaves it ruins the rest of my day and sometimes carries weakness into the next day. I don't try to do much more than I have to unless I'm have a "super feel good day", which isn't often. If I get behind on laundry and try to catch up in one day (just me and my husbands) the folding and hanging things up mess' me up make me so weak. I'm not even including the DDD which effects my neck and whole spine, really. Does anyone else have the arm problem and have you found anything that will help it?

On a good day I can walk for quite a long time. The leg work doesn't seem to bother me much. It won't cause weakness in the rest of my body unless it's not a good day to start with. Now, if I could steer clear of worst enemy...I'd have conquered a monster.

It's a pretty, sunshiny day here in my part of Oregon. Think I'll enjoy it. Had a few bad cf days in a row. Glad I rested so I can have a better day today. No big plans, yeah!

God Bless and hugs to everyone.


No, I don't have weakness in my arms but I'm wondering if your DDD might be causing this issue? And perhaps the fibro is amplifying it? I honestly don't know. Have you talked to your doctor about this issue, L-Kitty? It sounds big enough to bring up with him or her.

I wish I could help you more but let's hope that others weigh in on this topic!



Ok, so I locked myself out of the house for 3 hours today. Not what I wanted to do at all. And guess what I ended up doing outside? TOO MUCH! With my ARMS! I am now like a limp noodle. Maybe DH will go put the chickens in. I'm going for a bath!

I have problems with my arms all the time. I can not do any heavy lifting, or serious scrubbing, like the bathtub. If I think I am gonna be real active, I usually end up over doing and paying for it for a few days. I have to clean house a lot different than I use to. I use to be able to get up and clean the whole house in about 2 hours. Now I have to clean 1 or 2 rooms a day and thats it. I just am not able to do the whole thing in a day any more. I can no longer work in my yard. No raking, working in the garden, or riding the lawn mower. Which is very frustrating. as I enjoy working in my yard more than housework. When I drive the bus it makes my right arm hurt really bad and my shoulders. The problem is, I have insurance thru my job, and can't afford insurance any other way. I am not old enough to draw ss. So I keep on driving. Take pain med's and praying for the Lord to help me. Yes, when I work with my arms does make me weak. Not just my arms, but my whole body. I am very stubborn and I make myself do what I have to do. Hope you enjoyed your day. Sue

HI L-Kitty,

I can fold the laundry, some window washing, but raking leaves is hard labor and I cannot do it. It is in the same category as sweeping, vacuuming, mopping, and besides riding in the car and bending they are at the top of the list of 'cannot do'. My reason is the spine, more than the arms though even my arms are affected by my spinal degeneration.

My husband contacted the lady who helped is mother with her house, she gives me 2 hours a week, mainly spent on the floors, and it makes all of the difference in the world to me, and to my house.

I just noticed on Petunia's response the DDD, I have that too, from the Psoriatic Arthritis, and it's not fun.

Girlfriend, I suggest those jobs belong to a husband or a hired help, if they are that strenuous to you. Please take care and try to realize that there are some things we are better off not doing!

Hope you feel better very soon!

BTW, are your x-rays and MRI's current? May be time to take another look, you may want to put this on your running list of things to discuss with your Doctor.

Oh, L-Kitty!!! That's rotten! All the way around, from beginning to end.

You can buy fake rocks to hide house keys in. I've found a place to hide a spare after locking myself out multiple times. And our neighbor also has a copy. Can't get locked out anymore!

Agree with SK - leave the biggie baddie jobs to your hubby or hired help.

I have arm weakness also have to not overexert too… It is so frustrating because of limitations now … I can’t do all my housecleaning either because the next day I will be in so much pain. We have to pace ourselves now .

I can shop like crazy all day without a problem with my legs, but it almost kills me to hold my arms above my head to wash my hair. I can't blow-dry my hair, change a lightbulb, anything that requires actual strength in my upper arms. I've been this way since I was a kid, always considered 'weak'.

I'm glad to see others weigh in on this!

Yes I have this all of the time between the FM ,CF and the DDD i can not do any thing with my arms that does not later cause pain, swelling and numbness. If I raise my hands (or try to ) up over my head i immediatly have numbness and severe weakness. I too can not do very much laundry or household chores at all without suffering for days later. this morning i woke with my hands and arms so swollen and pain so severe that it made me extremly nauseaus and am having to type with on finger no i have not found anything to help and right now have no med coverage so can not seek help the pain today is a definite 10+ and has me constantly close to tears. hope you enjoy your day very much L-Kitty God Bless and Gentle Hugs


It does seem like any repetative movements cause more trouble than usual with my arms. They just get so weak and they feel shaky like I can't hang on to anything. I wonder sometimes if it is the Fibro or the Neuropathy. It is really important to take breaks when doing ANYTHING, housework, yardwork, etc. and I agree, leave the strenuous stuff to the big guys. They can handle it we can't. It is so annoying but one day I feel like Wonderwoman and the next I'm more like a limp dishrag. I use an eliptical machine for my exercise every day because I only have to use my legs and it is much easier when I don't have to use my arms.

Enjoy the sunshine L-Kitty, it is gloomy and cold here in Michigan. Hope you are doing better!

Pebbles, I'm going to pull up a discussion one of our members so graciously composed. It is entitled help for low income Americans. There are so many programs to help in so many ways, needy meds is one. Please check this out, hope it is of help to you and many others.

Hi L-Kitty! (smile). - Yes, for many years now I have had weakness in my arms. Like you, they will flare up if I have done too much lifting. It's very annoying, because sometimes I will be doing laundry and the lifting back and forth from the laundry room to my bedroom can hurt me - even if the load is relatively light. Right now, I have a really bad flare up with fever - which isn't uncommon for me. Everywhere on my body hurts - especially when I get super sensitive in the areas. I had mentioned a while back, that one of my chief complaints during bad flare ups are my arms. I don't know why - but they are extremely painful and sensitive. If I just reach an arm up to get something out of a cupboard, wow! Hurts! My wonderful son, Jason, awhile back, came over with a little surprise for me. He bought me one of those 'picker uppers', made of steel and plastic with rubber grips on the bottom. It picks up everything - off the floor and what I need form the cupboards. After using it, I just fold it up and hang in in my kitchen where I can find it easily. Have you considered getting one of these? You can find them at Walmart - and, I think, are very inexpensive. The weakness can be just as bad - because I don't have any strength to use the arms. Love, Laurie

Thanks everyone. My son will be raking the flower beds within the week.

Pebbles, I'm sorry you're in so much pain. That should be unheard of in this day and age. I hope you get some good medical care soon so you can get some meds. SK has some good ideas for you.

I hadn't thought of the arm weakness in relation to the ddd. Oh that really sucks. sorry. After having my neck MRI about two years ago, both my pcp and chiropractor asked me if I wanted a referral to a neurosurgeon. I said, no thanks! Had l5-s1 disc removed, an artificial disc to replace it put in and rods to hold the vertebrae together back in 2005. I don't want to have my neck done. It worked, but it was a huge surgery. I don't think I can take it now. I'm waiting til they make a magic pill for that. :0)

Bookjunkie, that's exactly it! Just plain weakness.

Laurie, my grand sons had one of those picker uppers when they lived here. They are fun aren't they? It might be a good idea to have one of those around again. You get actual pain when you lift your arms? I have pain the next day, like I've worked out too hard and muscles are tender. But, I don't have pain when using my arms. They just feel shakey and weak.

LaDonna and Renie this is exactly why my house is a mess and my hair looks like I've been in a tornado!

My husband went to the chiropractor today to have some tendonitis worked on. Chiro told my husband to remind me to be taking my B-Complex every day. So everyone, there you go, take your B-Complex.

Thanks for all your input.


HI Sue - Like you, I can't ''whip'' through the rooms like I used to. I have to do a couple of things and either wait an hour or two - or start up again the next day. I like a clean house - so I feel a little pressured sometimes if I don't keep it up. LOL Pain meds will sometimes help me - but I am very careful not to abuse them. I used to take Celebrex - which worked wonders for me for many years. However, my insurance, as of 2 years ago, decided not to pay for it anymore. As usual - too expensive for them. I am not on any anti - inflammatories right now - but will be seeing a specialist soon and hopefully I can get started on something that will allow me to move around easier with little or no pain. Laurie

Hi Renie - I, too, have a great deal of trouble washing my hair and blow drying it. My arms hurt and get tired very quickly. It's almost like my arms feel weighed down and they ache. I live in an apartment - so maintenance can take care of a lot of things for me. Laurie

HI Pebbles - I am so sorry you are having such pain. I sure wish you had medical coverage - but I understand how hard it is now to get it. Everything is so expensive now and I do worry about my future in being able to keep my meds ongoing. It's very stressful to not be able to do much for the pain, you know? I am not on any anti-inflammatories right now because the one I was taking - which worked so well for me, was stopped about 2 years ago. My insurance didn't want to pay for it anymore - too expensive. So, all I can do right now, is just take one day at a time and hope for the best - painwise. Laurie

HI L-Kitty - I think I might have worded my post wrong. I DO get pain the next day if lifting and using my arms the day before. Same with my back if I bend down too much. However, this rarely happens now since my son bought me the picker upper! LOL Laurie


Do you also have TMJ, by chance? That can cause weakness in the upper body, I believe.

Also with FM you have to pace yourself. This is what my wife and I have found.

Hi Pam - I have discovered that some of the people on this website have developed TMJ following with the Fibro. I never even thought of the two together. I developed very severe TMJ about 5 years after I was diagnosed with Fibro. I had beautiful teeth - but they were getting worn down and 2 years ago, sadly, I lost them.. I was just horrified at the prospect of it all! However, they have been replaced with really beautiful teeth now, and look exactly like the ones that I had most of my life. The transformation is truly remarkable, compared to what I looked like after the surgery. I had to eat soft foods for quite a while, and as a result I lost weight - which I didn't need. Now, I can enjoy all foods again and I am a happy camper! Hugs! Laurie