Alcoholic Myopathy Symptoms

Updated April 17, 2017

Alcoholic myopathy, which occurs in people who have been drinking extremely heavily for weeks, results in pain and weakness in various muscles. This muscle pain is caused by alcohol causing deterioration of the muscles, and occasionally deterioration of the nervous system. Alcoholic myopathy usually clears up when the person stops drinking for a long period of time, but the damage can be permanent if significant damage has been done.

Tingling of Extremities

Tingling sensations are often present as a result of alcoholic myopathy, particularly in people who have been drinking heavily for years. Tingling sensations usually occur in the feet and calves.

Loss of Balance

Muscular degeneration can often result in loss of balance or coordination problems. Patients with alcoholic myopathy frequently trip and fall. This symptom is seen most often in alcoholics who have been drinking extremely heavily for a number of years.

Muscle Weakness

Muscle weakness occurs most often in the shoulders and can sometimes affect muscles in the face. This symptom can also occur in the leg muscles, but usually affects the upper body, unless the patient has been drinking heavily for a very long time.

Skin Inflammation

Pink or purple scaly areas of the skin are often associated with alcoholic myopathy. These skin inflammations usually occur over joints, such as elbows, knees and knuckles.


Fever occasionally occurs with alcoholic myopathy, but is not one of the most common symptoms.

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About the Author

Chelsea Day started writing professionally in 2005 and has been featured in publications such as "Beverly Hills 90210" and "The Travel Magazine." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from University of California, Los Angeles and runs the popular lifestyle blog Someday I'll Learn.