Muscle Atrophy

The term “atrophy” means wasting of body tissue or organ or muscles owing to injury, disease or lack of usage. Muscle atrophy is the muscle wastage or decrease in huge mass of muscle due to several reasons. It can be complete wastage of muscles or partial damage caused due to muscle weakness. In simple terms, muscle atrophy means loss of muscle tissue.

Types :

Disuse atrophy is the loss of muscle resulting from sedentary lifestyle due to lack of physical exercise or activity. Muscular atrophy caused on neurology background is called neurogenic atrophy which is caused by injury in the spinal card, weakness in the brain or other neuromuscular disorders.

Causes :

Very often, sedentary lifestyle is the cause for disuse atrophy of muscles. Medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, injury to the muscles, fracture and burns may cause atrophy. People who are confined to bed are at risk of developing disuse muscular atrophy. Given that, heart being the muscle requires to be on continuous exercise for staying healthy. Any organ for that matter, not put into use may lose function temporarily and becomes weak gradually.

It is not possible to reverse the permanent damage caused due to disuse atrophy but with repeated therapy and physical exercise, you can manage the disease to progress further.

Neurogenic atrophy is caused due to neuromuscular disease like weakness in spinal cord, injury to the brain, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Guillain Barre Syndrome and diabetic neuropathy. Very often, when there is damage or weakness in the neurons it affects the underlying muscles and tissues.

People who have history of neurological disorder and people who are diabetic need to take steps to keep their muscles under continuous movement.

Malnutrition and consumption of alcohol may also cause muscular atrophy. Burns, spinal cord injury and infection in the brain can also produce muscle atrophy. In case if the atrophy is caused due to Lou Gehrig’s disease the damage caused to the nerves becomes irreversible. Carpel tunnel syndrome is an example of neurogenic muscle atrophy.

Symptoms :

The most common sign of this disease is the weakness and flabby muscles. The muscles become weak gradually when it is not used properly. In the case of neurogenic atrophy the symptoms are not quite evident. The affected person may have difficulty in moving their hands and leg muscles. They may lie in a stooped position and will have moderate to severe back pain.

Other symptoms of muscle atrophy include limited neck motion, rigid spinal cord and in rare cases heart failure. The affected person will show increased level of creatinine in blood test.

Treatment :

The mode of treatment may vary widely depending on the symptoms and intensity of the disease. It is easy to manage disuse muscle atrophy by practicing regular exercises. Anti-inflammatory drugs like corticosteroids are prescribed for decreasing inflammation and pain and for reducing the nerve compression.

Chiropractor therapy is recommended for curing muscle atrophy due to nervous background. Stretching exercises are highly beneficial for the affected person to reduce the compression in the nerves.

Surgery is the option for treating herniated disc if the condition cannot be improved by other therapies. However, the muscle atrophy in the advanced stage becomes incurable even with the help of modern medicines and treatment methods. You should see that the disease is not progressed and consult your doctor in the initial stages of the symptom.

Pictures of Muscle Atrophy :

Images, Pics, Pictures and Photos of Muscle Atrophy

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Prevention :

Regular exercises will keep you away from muscle atrophy caused by disuse of muscles. Walking and swimming are the best exercise for keeping the muscles in healthy position.

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