What is muscle atrophy?
Muscle atrophy occurs when the body loses skeletal muscle mass or tissue. Various factors can cause this condition, from lack of regular exercise to immobility due to injury or malnutrition, genetics, taking certain medications, and suffering from a variety of medical conditions. Physical immobility ultimately leads to muscle wasting, which leads to weakness and sometimes disability. However, proper diet, regular exercise, and physiotherapy may be able to remedy muscle waste.
What are the symptoms of muscle atrophy?
Apart from wasting muscle mass, other visible symptoms of muscle atrophy are:
- One of the arms or legs may look smaller than the other.
- Weakness in one limb, leading to difficulty or lack of ability to perform physical tasks (depending on the affected muscles)
- Difficult to balance. Standing, walking, or climbing stairs from a sitting position can increase your falls.
What Causes Muscle Atrophy?
Muscle atrophy can be caused for several reasons, including:
- Lack of exercise
- Lack of balanced diet
- Aging reduces the production of proteins that promote muscle growth.
- Burns and injuries such as rotator cuff tears and fractures
- Disorders of the central or peripheral nervous system
- Cachexia that causes muscle loss and dramatic weight loss
Certain medical and chronic conditions that can cause muscle atrophy include:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lugeric’s disease, damages the motor neurons that control spontaneous muscle movement.
- Dermatomyositis. It causes muscle weakness and skin rash.
- Guillain-Barré syndrome, an autoimmune disease that causes neuroinflammation and weakness.
- Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the central nervous system, causing inflammation of nerve fibers.
- Muscular dystrophy, a hereditary disorder that causes muscle weakness.
- Neuropathy, a condition that damages a nerve or group of nerves, resulting in loss of function or sensation.
- Osteoarthritis, a condition that causes decreased joint movement.
- Polio, a viral disease that attacks the nervous system, can cause permanent paralysis.
- Polymyositis, an inflammatory myopathy.
- Rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease that affects joints and causes pain and stiffness.
- Spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic condition that causes the weakening of the muscles of the arms and legs.
How is muscle atrophy diagnosed?
If muscle atrophy is the result of an illness or condition, the person may need to be tested to identify the condition. A general practitioner or practitioner seeks a comprehensive medical history in addition to:
- Describe old or recent injuries and previously identified medical conditions.
- Make a list of prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, and supplements that are currently being consumed.
- Presents a complete description of the symptoms.
Doctors can ask for tests to assist in the diagnosis and rule out the presence of some illnesses. The tests include:
- Blood test
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- Computed tomography (CT) scan
- Nerve conduction study
- Muscle or nerve biopsy
- EMG (EMG)
Your doctor may refer you to a specialist based on the results of your test.
How is muscle atrophy treated?
Treatment of muscle atrophy depends on the presence of the underlying condition and the magnitude of muscle loss. Some of the treatments for muscle atrophy are:
- Physical therapy: You can reduce immobility by doing certain stretches and exercises. It also increases muscle strength, improves circulation and reduces spasticity. This causes the muscles to contract continuously.
- Ultrasound Therapy: This is a procedure to obtain a beam of ultrasonic energy that stimulates the contraction of atrophied muscle tissue in a specific part of the body.
- Surgery: If muscle atrophy is caused by malnutrition, surgical procedures can correct the deformation of the contracture, and if muscle atrophy is associated with a neurological condition or injury, enhance muscle function in people. There is a possibility.
- Exercise: Underwater exercise is recommended for comfortable movement.
If malnutrition is the cause of your symptoms, you may be advised to change your diet with certain supplements.
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Muscle atrophy is usually the result of the inability to exercise the muscles frequently. A condition in which muscle fibers are significantly shortened and the body loses skeletal muscle mass. There are many causes for this, and if you have an underlying disorder, you can get the necessary treatment, as well as treat or prevent it with proper nutrition and proper exercise therapy.