05 Feb What to Do about Muscle Atrophy
Have you noticed your muscles becoming weaker over time? Muscle atrophy happens with certain chronic conditions and diseases. However, if that is not the case with you, then a lack of physical activity is to blame. When you exercise, you keep your muscles strong and you are constantly building new muscle fibers. When you skip physical activity (especially for prolonged periods of time), you will notice your muscles becoming weaker and smaller. We have rehabilitative therapies, nutritional counseling and exercises to help you strengthen your muscles once more. For those with chronic conditions, vibration therapy is the perfect solution to combat your muscle atrophy. Find out how this therapy can whip your muscles into shape in just a few minutes a day!
What Is Muscle Atrophy?
Muscle atrophy is also known as “muscle wasting” and “muscle loss”. It can happen due to chronic conditions and diseases, or it can happen based on your lifestyle. For healthy individuals that experience muscle atrophy, a stagnant routine may be to blame. If you go weeks and even months without exercise, you will notice that your muscles become smaller and thinner. That may even mean that you look slimmer, but not in a healthy way. If the muscles are not used often enough, they begin to waste away.
Muscles are meant to be used and used often. In order to keep them healthy, you have to work them out. If not, muscle atrophy begins to set in. You may have muscle atrophy if you notice that your arms or legs are smaller than they once were (and you haven’t dieted) or if one of your arms or legs is smaller than the other. This is a sign of a muscle problem or deficiency. If you are also experiencing marked weakness in one limb or the other, it could be muscle atrophy. For people who live fairly active lifestyles and stop suddenly, they’ll notice that their muscles are weaker the longer they go without exercising or lifting weights.
Exercise to Keep Muscles Strong
The American Heart Association recommends exercising at least 150 minutes per week, or 5 days of 30 minutes of exercise. This recommendation is in place to help prevent muscle atrophy, chronic conditions such as heart disease and stroke, and to boost energy and mood. There are many benefits of exercising. Those who exercise every week, several times a week can keep their heart healthier. You don’t have to go through strenuous workouts at the gym either to keep your muscles in shape. The AHA states that “physical activity is anything that makes you move your body and burn calories”. Even simply walking every single day can keep your muscles intact.
However, with the increasing popularity of television and the amount of people that have desk jobs, people are becoming more and more stationary. Sitting for too long can give you back problems, can wear away your muscles, slow down your circulation and put you at risk for many chronic conditions and diseases. You can prevent all of these problems—especially muscle atrophy—by simply getting up and moving! However, not all people can exercise at the gym or even in their own homes due to chronic conditions, ailments or age. That is where physical therapy services come in. Physical therapy services include nutritional and exercise counseling, chiropractic care, services to heal injuries and other treatments such as vibration therapy to improve muscle health.
Vibration Therapy for Muscle Atrophy
When astronauts went up into space, they encountered the problem of muscle atrophy. With the lack of gravity and resistance on their muscles, they began to atrophy quickly. In an effort to combat this atrophy, scientists developed vibration therapy for the muscles to combat muscle atrophy. Vibration therapy consists of using a standing machine for a few minutes each day that works the muscles. This machine will send countless vibrations through your body, making your muscles contract and relax dozens of times per second. That contraction and relaxation works your muscles much like exercise would.
This therapy is great for elderly patients or for those who have disabilities or chronic conditions that prevent them from being able to exercise or move around well. Vibration therapy helps:
- Improve balance for older adults
- Provide greater flexibility and a wider range-of-movement due to reduced tension and inflammation
- Improve mineral density of the bones, which can prevent breaks in the hip or shoulder
However, vibration therapy isn’t just for older or disabled patients. It’s also an amazing tool for improving performance in athletes. The quick contractions caused by the shaking vibration platform allows your muscles to develop strength and reaction speed. Athletes who use this therapy can improve their performance in just a few weeks.
Improve Your Muscle Tone
No matter if you are an athlete looking to gain a better edge or the everyday person wanting to strengthen their muscles, we have services that can help you. Exercise is the best method for combating muscle atrophy. When exercise is not an option for you due to chronic conditions, we can help you with other physical rehabilitation therapies. To learn more about combating muscle atrophy, call Mile High Spine & Pain Center today at (720) 507-0080!