This is my first post, so hello to all. I've recently joined this forum having found a related thread, and thought I'd try my luck at getting some advice.
I'm 35, live near Newcastle in the north east of England and enjoy a fairly active lifestyle including regular gym visits for resistance training, some ballistic training (using kettlebells) and a lot of cycling. Around two weeks ago I noticed in the gym that my strength was significantly diminished in my right arm/chest when performing a shoulder press. Initially I put this down to a slight strain as I felt no pain as such, but over the last week or so I've noticed a significant loss in strength in my right arm and chest. Whilst discussing this with my girlfriend this morning she observed that my upper body did not appear symetrical; the difference from one side to the other isn't huge, but is definately noticeable and it appears I've lost muscle mass. I tried a few exercises to see what was affected and my right pectoral muscle is significantly weaker than normal; my bench pressing capacity has dropped from around 90kg(200lbs) to around 60kgs, though this is somewhat uncomfortable as I find my left side is over compensating for weakness in the right. My right bicep appears to be slightly weaker but nowhere near the drop in strength observed in my chest (perhaps 85%). My shoulder seems fairly stable and I'm able to do a front/side raise using dumbells but I'm somewhat alarmed at the weakness in my tricep. I tried a few tricep extensions this morning using a dumbell, whilst lying on my back and found that I could barely lift 6/7kgs with my right arm compared with 25+ (without any bother) on my left.
Having read other threads on this forum, I'm concerned that I'm suffering the affects of nerve damage, but I'm struggling to come up with a cause as to my knowledge I've not sustained a physical injury and haven't experienced any pain.
I've had a bit of physio recently to help address a knee problem caused by a muscular imbalance and slight forward rotation of pelvis (left side). During this treatment, my physio recommended resistance exercises for my glutes and quads, and corrected some tightness in my L2/L3 vertebrae, hip flexors + IT band. This treatment went very well and the knee issue is significantly better now - I'm considering another visit to the same physio, but think I'll consult my GP/specialist first regarding the chest/tricep problem.
The only other thing I would add is that I had a Flu jab/shot around four weeks ago (21st October), and wondered whether this could be linked with my problem? An earlier thread on this forum, included posts from several members who claimed to have suffered similar loss of strength/atrophy in the pectoral major, tricep and lat following a flu jab. Could this be coincidence, or might I be suffering from a viral attack on my thoratic nerve - perhaps brought on by the jab?
I've no choice but to wait until Monday now before I can contact my GP, but hopefully they can refer me in the near future to someone who can help...
Despite the lack of strength, my muscle 'mass' doesn't seem too bad at this point, and in the case of my arms, I'd say the size/volume remains comparible between left and right. That said, my right pec and tricep seem overly flacid and I'm unable to activate them effectively.
I'd realy appreciate any advice you could offer...
Can I expect further muscle atrophy? How long will it take to recover from?
Is there anything I can do in the meantime to speed the recovery process, and should I continue with resistance training (in the hope of limiting the atrophy).
I guess advice will really depend on a future diagnosis, but nevertheless I'd still appreciate your thoughts.
I'm freaking out over this and feeling pretty low right now, as I slowly come to terms with the fact that my body has sustained damage that will take a long time to get over.
Thanks in advance.