Weakness is a symptom complained of by many patients.
Weakness that is evident on examination may due to individual peripheral nerve lesions, mononeuritis multiplex, peripheral neuropathy, spinal cord disease, or be the result of chronic illness or disuse. Important clues to the cause of the weakness can be found in the pattern of weakness.
In a myopathy there is no sensory loss. The motor weakness is similar to that seen in a lower motor neurone lesion. The usual pattern is that of proximal muscle weakness, although distal muscle weakness may occur in a myopathy.
A distal muscle weakness, especially if combined with a glove and stocking sensory loss, is likely to be due to a neuropathy.
Last reviewed 04/2019