Types and causes of muscle atrophy.


A sedentary lifestyle and lack of regular exercise can cause weakness. Weakness arises from lack of use and can lead to muscle wasting. So what is muscle wasting and what can be done to reverse it?

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Muscle atrophy or muscle atrophy

Muscle wasting is a loss or decrease in muscle mass. Its synonyms are muscle atrophy, muscle loss, muscle catabolism, and muscle atrophy. Muscle atrophy is caused by insufficient muscle utilization or impaired transmission of nerve signals to the muscle. This is seen in many conditions, especially cancer cachexia and HIV / AIDS . The cure for muscle atrophy is to use your muscles more easily through exercise and vigorous daily activity.

Neurogenic muscular atrophy

When the nerve leading to the muscle is damaged, it can no longer cause the muscle to contract, causing muscle activity. The bodywork is very conservative and what is not used is recycled. Without a nerve that triggers muscle contraction, the body believes the muscle is no longer needed and destroys it, the muscle atrophies. With neurogenic muscle atrophy, it is necessary to artificially train the muscle using functional electrical stimulation to maintain muscle mass .

Disuse muscle atrophy

When it comes to muscle, it's definitely "use it or lose it." If you play sports and lead an active lifestyle, your muscles will grow according to your needs. But as soon as you stop using muscle, your body doesn't want to waste energy nourishing and maintaining it, so it starts breaking it down and recycling it. Your muscles shrink in both size and strength.

The cure for atrophy of unused muscles is to use them, first during normal physical activity, when standing, moving, lifting and carrying. Special exercises also reverse muscle wasting and stimulate muscle growth. As long as the nerves to the muscles are intact and the body is well nourished, the muscles can grow. Think of how bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger go to extremes in building muscle, but once they stop exercising, their muscles contract back to normal size.

In medicine, it is very important that patients stay active and mobile, as muscle atrophy occurs very quickly when someone is bedridden or when a limb is immobilized. If you've ever had a leg cast, you know how quickly you've lost muscle mass. In some cases, they need to put on a new bandage because the muscle has contracted so much that after a couple of weeks the bandage becomes loose. When you're in the hospital, physical and occupational therapists visit you to keep your muscles tense so they don't atrophy.

Loss of muscle mass with arthritis.

When considering the type of muscle atrophy that can develop from lack of physical activity due to joint pain and limited range of motion, we are referring to muscle atrophy of the unused type. It's a kind of vicious cycle: arthritis pain leads to a decrease in physical activity, which leads to muscle atrophy. But it's important to know that inactivity-induced atrophy can be reversed with exercise.

Muscle atrophy can be due to a number of medical conditions. These are those associated with arthritis:

If you notice muscle wasting, talk to your doctor. You will most likely need to develop an exercise program and stick to it.

Frequently asked questions

  • Muscle wasting is the loss of muscle tissue. Other terms for muscle atrophy include:

    • Muscle catabolism
    • Loss of muscle mass
    • Amyotrophy
    • Muscle deterioration

  • Muscle wasting can have several different causes. In general, unused muscles can become weak and smaller. One of the reasons is the lack of physical activity. Nerve damage can also lead to atrophy. Also, aging, fasting, and long-term use of corticosteroids can lead to muscle wasting.

  • Yes, in most cases, it can repair atrophied muscles. A combination of physical activity, strength training, and proper nutrition often helps. You may need physical therapy or rehabilitation to restore strength and muscle mass.

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