Arms Feel Heavy and Weak

Weakness in arms
The feeling of heaviness and weakness in the arms may be permanent or may appear occasionally, sporadically. What is the cause of this hand condition? What should you do if the feeling of heaviness in your arms repeats again and again? Are there simple methods to get rid of the feeling of weakness in the arms?

There are various instances in which you may encounter the feeling of having heavy or weak arms. This sensation can be troubling, as it hinders your ability to perform everyday activities or even move your arms comfortably.  

Here are some common situations that can lead to heavy and weak arms:

  1. Physical exertion
  2. Poor posture
  3. Nerve compression
  4. Anxiety or stress
  5. Heart attack.

Why do you feel your arms heavy and weak?

Here are some possible reasons why you might be experiencing this symptom:

  1. Muscle Fatigue: One of the most common reasons for feeling heavy or weak in your arms is simply muscle fatigue. If you’ve been doing a lot of repetitive or strenuous arm movements, your muscles may just be tired and in need of rest.
  2. Poor Posture: If you have poor posture, you may be putting extra strain on your arms, shoulders, and neck. This can lead to feelings of weakness and fatigue.
  3. Nerve Impingement: If you’re experiencing numbness, tingling, or a burning sensation along with your arm weakness, you may be dealing with nerve impingement. This occurs when a nerve is compressed or trapped, and can cause a wide range of symptoms.
  4. Arthritis: People with arthritis may experience weakness and fatigue in their arms due to joint inflammation and pain. This can make it difficult to lift or carry objects.
  5. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve in your wrist becomes compressed, causing weakness and numbness in your hands and arms. This condition is often associated with repetitive motions like typing or using a mouse.
  6. Tendinitis: Tendinitis occurs when the tendons in your arm become inflamed, leading to weakness and pain. This is often caused by overuse or repetitive motions.
  7. Poor Circulation: If your arms feel heavy or weak, it could be due to poor circulation. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including cardiovascular disease and certain medications.
heaviness in arms

Arm weakness and fatigue can be a sign of a more serious condition, so if you’re experiencing these symptoms frequently or they’re accompanied by other symptoms like chest pain or difficulty breathing, you should seek medical attention right away.

What to do

If you’ve been experiencing the feeling that your arms are heavy and weak, it’s important to take action to address this symptom. Here are some things you can do to reduce the discomfort and regain strength in your arms:

  1. Stretching: Start by stretching your arms gently to relieve tension and reduce stiffness. Simple stretches such as pulling your arms behind your back or extending your arms above your head can be very effective.
  2. Rest: It’s important to give your arms a break if they feel weak or heavy. Resting for a little bit can help reduce muscle fatigue and give your arms the time they need to recover.
  3. Exercise: Regular exercise can help strengthen your arms and prevent muscle weakness. Light weight-lifting, swimming, or yoga can all be effective ways to improve arm strength.
  4. Massage: A massage can greatly help alleviate the discomfort and tension associated with weak arms. Massaging your arms with essential oils or using a massage roller can improve blood circulation and reduce muscle soreness.
  5. Improve posture: Enhancing your posture can assist in easing the signs of feeble and burdensome arms. It is important to ensure that your shoulders are relaxed and avoid hunching forward to avoid putting strain and tension on your muscles. 
  6. Consult a doctor: If you have long-lasting and intense weakness in your arm, it is vital to seek advice from a healthcare provider. This may indicate a more severe ailment that needs to be treated. 

By taking these steps, you can help reduce the discomfort associated with weak and heavy arms, improve your overall health, and restore strength and mobility to your arms.

Information verified by the team.

Questions and Answers about Heaviness and weakness in the arms

Q: Is it normal for your arms to feel weak?
A: It is not uncommon to experience some temporary weakness in your arms. However, if weakness persists for an extended period, it may indicate an underlying medical condition that requires further evaluation by a doctor.

Q: Why does my arm feel like a dead weight?
A: A feeling of heaviness or dead weight in your arm can result from a variety of causes. Muscle fatigue, poor blood flow, nerve damage, or an injury could all contribute to this sensation.

Q: Can anxiety make your arm heavy?
A: Anxiety can cause physical symptoms such as muscle tension, which can lead your arms to feel heavy or weak. However, it is important to note that other underlying medical conditions can cause these symptoms as well.

Q: How do you relieve heaviness in your arms?
A: Some of the ways to relieve arm heaviness include stretching, massage, applying heat or cold to the affected area, and engaging in activities that promote circulation. If symptoms persist or worsen, it is essential to seek medical attention.

Q: Why do my arms feel heavy at night?
A: Sleeping positions or muscle tension can sometimes contribute to arm heaviness at night. Underlying medical conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome or nerve damage may also cause this sensation.

Q: How do you relax tired and heavy arms?
A: Stretching, gentle exercise, massage, and engaging in activities that promote circulation can all help to relax tired and heavy arms. It is also essential to maintain proper posture and avoid repetitive movements that strain the arms and neck.

Reyus Mammadli

As a healthy lifestyle advisor I try to guide individuals in becoming more aware of living well and healthy through a series of proactive and preventive measures, disease prevention steps, recovery after illness or medical procedures.

Education: Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

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  1. Maria

    I have been to several doctors and always mention weakness & fatigue arm are always feel tire & heavy but never address. I’ve been diagnosed with several Fibromyalgia, Ostheo Arthritis & other itises. I do not know which ologist I should go to. Rheumatologist, Neurologist, Internist physiatrist, Pain specialist ets. taking a lot of meds.

  2. Ms Emilia Stoeva

    Most Drs are not good at correlating symptoms and love to miss the correct diagnose . Aging down symptoms and think are judges ,concentrate on Psychological aspects that is the problem is in your head . Sometimes of course it is but many other times they have to listen and work together with the patients but diagnosis cost money as one needs treatment . It is a very false economy not to treat patients on time and very unprofessional,barbaric when Drs fabricate notes the next Drs read these false notes do not keep an open mind and conjer up more fabrications and the poor patients goes a very long time without the correct treatment as the eye is useless the mind is blind and these patients can not recover properly without a treatment and get down quicker next time and in turn the patients get weaker and weaker do not use enough muscles so now your diagnose is degenerative and as far the useless Drs are concern you caused yourself ,careless, uncaring ,unprofessional disgusting lot . They get paid to distroy patients lives !

  3. Trevor

    I often feel really weak in the morning and it sometimes lasts through to mid-afternoon.

    This morning I feel really weak and slightly disorientated.

    My arms and my shoulders feel more weak than normal and I’m starting to feel depressed.

    When I feel like this, I have little self-motivation and I just feel like laying down until the symptoms pass.
    I have spoken to my GP about these symptoms but so far he has failed to help me.
    Can somebody advise me how to deal with this?

  4. JenE

    Trevor, I’m feeling the same way. Several times this week, I’ve felt weakness in my arms in the morning. Other times, the feeling has passed on it’s own but today I can’t shake it. I’m also very tired, boarderline feeling depressed from lack of energy. Have you found any relief? Any possible diagnosis? Glad it’s not just me that this is happening to.

  5. Cathy Cochran

    Since December of 2017 I have had right arm pain with the tingling in my right hand. I have had an MRI done multiple times, multiple ways. I have seen multiple orthopedics who have said different outcomes. One said nothing was wrong, one said I needed surgery on my rotator cuff and the other one said my rotator cuff looks ok but we need to do more tests. More tests means more blood work, more MRI’s, more xrays. This has been going on for so long. I have explained about my tingling, numbness, discoloration of my right hand being a different color than my left, colder than my left, heavy at times, weak, pain all the time, burning, feels heavy, like I have had a stroke. My days are horrible. I hate the fact that no professional knows what is wrong with me. There is something going on with my right arm that is going against my nerves. I am tired of the doctors not listening to me. I am right handed and need the use of my hand. Help me someone please….

  6. T.C.

    Have you had a vaccine? Muscle weakness seems to be a common result and no diagnosis to confirm anything.