Can Fibromyalgia Cause Weak Legs

Can Fibromyalgia Cause Weak Legs? Unraveling the Myths and Facts

Do you have aching and weakness in your legs causing you distress? If so, fibromyalgia may be the cause. Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition affecting millions of people worldwide, with symptoms including pain throughout the body and fatigue. It can also lead to leg weakness, making walking, running, or even standing difficult. 

In this blog post, we will look at how fibromyalgia affects the legs, what causes weak legs associated with fibromyalgia, how to diagnose and treat leg weakness caused by fibromyalgia, and tips for managing leg weakness related to this condition. 

Finally, we will discuss when it’s time to see a doctor about leg weakness related to fibromyalgia.

Can Fibromyalgia Cause Weak Legs?

Yes, fibromyalgia can cause weak legs. Fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread pain and fatigue, which can also affect your muscles and lead to leg weakness. 

This generalized weakness can affect all your muscles or focus on one particular muscle group. It’s common for those with fibromyalgia to experience trembling or twitching in the affected areas due to their exhausted muscles that are tight and tense most of the time. 

Weakness in the leg muscles may be compounded by soreness and pain resulting from fibromyalgia symptoms. Although there isn’t a cure for fibromyalgia, early diagnosis, and treatment might help diminish some of these associated symptoms.

What are the signs of fibromyalgia in the legs?

People who have fibromyalgia in their legs may experience a range of symptoms. These include pain, stiffness, numbness, and tingling sensations. 

The pain can be mild to severe and is often worse in frequently used muscles such as the hands, feet, or legs. 

It may feel like a dull ache or throbbing sensation that radiates out from tender points on the body and can also be shooting or burning. 

In addition, people with fibromyalgia often have difficulty moving their joints due to stiffness, which can further impair mobility.


Common causes of weak legs associated with fibromyalgia

Leg pain is a hallmark symptom of fibromyalgia, and individuals who suffer from this chronic condition often experience weak or aching legs. 

Causes may range from the underlying condition of fibromyalgia itself to other disorders that are frequently linked to it, such as peripheral neuropathy, restless leg syndrome (RLS), iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS), myofascial pain syndrome (MPS), and certain autoimmune diseases, namely rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.


Neuropathy is a type of pain associated with nerve damage. This condition can cause widespread pain and tenderness throughout the body, as well as with diabetes, which can cause nerve damage. People with fibromyalgia commonly experience it. 

Symptoms of neuropathy in the legs can include shooting, stabbing, or burning pain, muscle weakness and cramping, numbness, and loss of balance. 

Treatments for neuropathy may include medications, topical or local painkillers, or surgery in severe cases. While it can’t be cured, it can often be well managed.

Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) affects the lower limbs. It is characterized by an urge to move them, accompanied by uncomfortable sensations such as tingling, burning, tugging, or throbbing. 

RLS is particularly common among fibromyalgia patients, with up to 80% of those affected reporting this uncomfortable Symptom. 

It’s no wonder that many people living with fibromyalgia are desperate to find a way to manage their RLS symptoms and get some relief! Fortunately, there are various treatments available for RLS. 

From lifestyle changes such as exercising regularly, keeping a regular sleep pattern, drinking less alcohol, and avoiding tobacco use to prescription medications like antiseizure drugs, opioids, and benzodiazepines.

ITB Syndrome

ITB Syndrome, or iliotibial band syndrome, is a type of knee pain that affects people with fibromyalgia. The condition is characterized by pain and tenderness along the outside of the knee, mainly when walking up and down stairs. It can also spread up to the hip region.

The cause of ITB Syndrome is still unknown, but it may be related to lax connective tissues and hypermobile joints common in people with fibromyalgia.

Treatment typically involves:

  • Icing the affected area.
  • Limiting activities that cause pain.
  • Using OTC medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
  • Physical therapy with stretching and strengthening exercises.

In more severe cases, steroid injections or surgery may be recommended.

Diagnosing and treating leg weakness caused by fibromyalgia

Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) commonly affects patients with fibromyalgia and can cause leg pain. 

It is characterized by trigger points and tight areas in connective tissue that radiate pain to other body areas. Symptoms of MPS include localized muscle pain triggered by trigger points, pain that is distant from the trigger point, muscle stiffness, and fatigue. 

Diagnosis of MPS involves a physical exam, imaging, and blood tests to rule out other potential causes. 

Treatment focuses on the trigger points and may include acupuncture or dry needling, injections with numbing medication, cold laser therapy, electrical stimulation, massage therapies such as myofascial release and trigger point pressure release, stretching, therapeutic ultrasound, heat, over-the-counter medications, muscle relaxers, topical pain relievers, antidepressants such as Cymbalta and antiseizure drugs including Botox. 

Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune diseases are conditions where the body’s immune system mistakenly identifies healthy tissue as something to be attacked. 

In fibromyalgia, autoimmune disorders can increase the risk of developing the disease and cause leg pain. 

Rheumatoid arthritis affects the knees, ankles, hips, and low back, resulting in pain radiating to the legs. 

Treatment for autoimmune diseases typically involves immunosuppressants and immunomodulatory, which can help scale back the attack on your body. 

Diagnosing and treating leg weakness caused by fibromyalgia

Identifying and addressing fibromyalgia-related leg weakness

Leg weakness stemming from fibromyalgia is a prevalent symptom that can significantly affect one’s daily activities.

Correctly diagnosing this form of leg weakness can be challenging, as numerous other conditions may present similar symptoms.

For this reason, it is crucial to consult a medical professional with expertise in this area to ensure a correct diagnosis.

Upon confirmation of the diagnosis, treatments for fibromyalgia-induced leg weakness generally involve lifestyle modifications (such as regular exercise and stress reduction methods), medications to alleviate pain and inflammation, physical therapy, and possibly acupuncture. 

A physician may also suggest dietary adjustments to help control symptoms like fatigue, often linked to fibromyalgia.

Approved Medications

Lyrica (pregabalin), Cymbalta (duloxetine), and Savella (milnacipran) are all approved medications used to treat fibromyalgia symptoms such as leg weakness. 

Pregabalin works by inhibiting certain neurotransmitters in the brain, which helps reduce pain and improve sleep quality. 

At the same time, duloxetine increases serotonin levels, which may improve mood and physical well-being. 

Milnacipran is effective at relieving muscle pain caused by fibromyalgia. Still, it should be noted that this medication has some risks, including an increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

Off-Label Medications

Neurontin (gabapentin), tricyclic antidepressants, opioid painkillers, and muscle relaxers can all be prescribed off-label for treating fibromyalgia-related leg weakness. 

Gabapentin blocks specific nerve pain signals in the brain and effectively manages this discomfort. 

At the same time, tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline can help reduce fatigue, improve sleep quality, and reduce stiffness. 

At the same time, muscle relaxers such as Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine) can help relieve spasms in the legs. Opioid painkillers should only be used as a last resort, as they can lead to addiction and other health issues.

Other Lifestyle Changes

Along with medications, several lifestyle changes can be made to manage leg weakness caused by fibromyalgia. 

Regular exercise (particularly low-impact exercises like swimming, yoga, and tai chi) can help improve muscle strength while providing other health benefits such as improved mood and energy levels. 

Relaxation techniques such as mindfulness meditation or guided imagery can reduce stress, which may help with leg weakness. 

Finally, dietary changes such as reducing the intake of processed foods and increasing the intake of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins can also help improve overall well-being.

Can You Lose the Ability to Walk with Fibromyalgia?

Patients with fibromyalgia may experience decreased muscle strength, reduced range of motion in the joints, difficulty walking due to pain and stiffness, and impaired standing balance. 

In addition, their gait may change over time resulting in an increased risk of falls or loss of mobility altogether. 

Research has also found that certain activities, such as exercise or standing up from a seated position, can result in more significant discomfort for those with fibromyalgia.

Furthermore, some patients have reported losing the ability to perform daily activities independently due to their condition, which further impairs their ability to walk long distances or climb stairs without help. 

Therefore, it is essential for those suffering from fibromyalgia symptoms to seek medical advice early on to get proper treatment before any further deterioration occurs.

What Deficiency Causes Leg Muscle Weakness

What Deficiency Causes Leg Muscle Weakness?

Weakness in the legs is often caused by a vitamin D deficiency, which results in proximal muscle groups becoming weak and feeling heavy. 

Symptoms of this deficiency include difficulty rising from a chair, tiring quickly, and difficulty mounting stairs. Fortunately, this deficiency is reversible with supplementation.


If you are experiencing leg muscle weakness, speaking with your doctor about testing for Vitamin D deficiencies and other potential underlying causes is essential.

Treating Fibromyalgia Leg Pain

Treating Fibromyalgia Leg Pain can be a daunting task. Still, various treatment options are available to help patients manage their discomfort and reduce the intensity of the pain.

Lyrica (pregabalin) is a prescription medication approved to treat fibromyalgia leg pain. It will block the production of certain chemicals in the brain that can contribute to chronic pain and fatigue symptoms. 

In clinical trials, Lyrica effectively reduced pain intensity, improved sleep quality, and increased overall quality of life.

In addition to prescription medications, several non-drug therapies can help reduce fibromyalgia leg pain. Physical and occupational therapy can help improve joint flexibility, muscle strength, and overall body mechanics. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) helps manage the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Exercise is also essential for managing fibromyalgia leg pain. 

It’s crucial to start slowly and build up your exercise routine as you become more comfortable with the activity.

Cannabis products, such as medical marijuana and cannabidiol (CBD), have been found to help reduce symptoms of chronic pain. 

Topical painkillers such as topical CBD, capsaicin, BioFreeze, Icy Hot With Lidocaine, and lidocaine patches may relieve some. 

Supplements such as magnesium malate, 5-HTP, Rhodiola rosea, and vitamin D are also believed to be beneficial for reducing symptoms of fibromyalgia leg pain.

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