Health Information and Tools > Patient Care Handouts >  Weakness: Care Instructions

Main Content

Weakness: Care Instructions

Your Care Instructions

Weakness is a lack of physical or muscle strength. You may feel that you need to make extra effort to move your arms, legs, or other muscles. Generalized weakness means that you feel weak in most areas of your body. Another type of weakness may affect just one muscle or group of muscles.

You may feel weak and tired after you have done too much activity, such as taking an extra-long hike. This is not a serious problem. It often goes away on its own.

Feeling weak can also be caused by medical conditions like thyroid problems, depression, or a virus. Sometimes the cause can be serious. Your doctor may want to do more tests to try to find the cause of the weakness.

The doctor has checked you carefully, but problems can develop later. If you notice any problems or new symptoms, get medical treatment right away.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Rest when you feel tired.
  • Be safe with medicines. If your doctor prescribed medicine, take it exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor or nurse advice line if you think you are having a problem with your medicine. You will get more details on the specific medicines your doctor prescribes.
  • Do not skip meals. Eating a balanced diet may increase your energy level.
  • Get some physical activity every day, but do not get too tired.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have new or worse weakness.
  • You are dizzy or light-headed, or you feel like you may faint.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:

  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

Enter V492 in the search box to learn more about "Weakness: Care Instructions".

Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.