Weakness, Fatigue or Both: A Fibromyalgia / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Inquiry

The ME/CFS and FM Fatigue and Weakness Poll: You'e overexerted yourself and now you....

  • I experience high amounts of weakness. I can't move much but do not experience much pain

    Votes: 2 3.4%
  • I experience both weakness and fatigue - with an emphasis on weakness

    Votes: 8 13.6%
  • I experience both weakness and fatigue - with an emphasis on fatigue-like symptoms like pain

    Votes: 21 35.6%
  • I experience both weakness and fatigue equally

    Votes: 15 25.4%
  • I experience high amounts of fatigue; if asked to move I can but my symptoms go way up

    Votes: 13 22.0%

  • Total voters


Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
Fatigue is similar but different from weakness. The difference matters. This is how I understand the two..

[/fright]Fatigue usually involves pain, weariness, etc. but does not necessarily indicate significant weakness is present. If you're fatigued and you're asked to move you usually can at the cost of increased pain, etc.

Weakness on the other hand, indicates the ability of the muscles to generate energy has been whacked. If you're really weak and are asked to move you simply can't. It can be associated with pain but does not necessarily come with pain or weariness.

Fatigue and weakness could be produced by different problems...
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Active Member
Oh yes, weak, exhausted and increased pain, which lead to worsening of all symptoms which are too many to list. I'm getting worse and worse as days go by after a pretty good spring and July. Now it's downhill through our fall and winter. I should be saying I'm blessed to at least have a few weeks reprieve-not healed but less pain and exhaustion. If only I could bottle up the bit of extra energy I get in the spring/early summer and distribute it throughout the year then it wouldn't be so scary when I'm going downhill, because as shown in the past I just never know where the bottom will be.


Active Member
I find this interesting. Now that I think about it, I have significant weakness, AND fatigue. Today I have mostly weakness, but last night I had fatigue. Does this mean anything?


New Member
I don't really agree with your definition of fatigue. I don't think of fatigue meaning pain. I think of fatigue as being exhausted and having no energy.


New Member
I agree with Anne. Fatigue does not necessarily involve pain any more than weakness does. So I cannot find a good definition for my fatigue in the list. What's more, weakness and fatigue are also hard to differentiate. When I'm fatigued, I feel weak, too.

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