Combat Your Muscle Atrophy - Olathe Chiropractic

Combat Your Muscle Atrophy

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If you have ever had a bone or muscle injury before, then you know that the road to recovery can take some time. As your body heals, you may notice that your muscles are much weaker (and maybe even skinnier) than they were before. This often happens with inactivity or when a bone is being set and the area can’t be moved. When muscles become weaker and skinner, this is called muscle atrophy. However, you can combat that atrophy with the right therapies as your body seeks to heal itself!


What Is Muscle Atrophy?

Your body is held together by many complex systems all working together to make movement, posture, body systems and feeling possible. Your skeleton provides the framework for your entire body and holds up the body. Ligaments, tendons and muscles connect to those bones and make movement possible. Muscles are the main meat to your bones that determine how you move. The more muscles you have, the easier you can move and perform more strenuous functions.


Your muscles are voluntary muscles instead of involuntary muscles. Your heart is an involuntary muscle because it beats and works without your conscious effort. Your muscles, however, are voluntary because you control how they move and work. When you want to lift your leg, your brain sends signals to your muscles to contract and relax, tugging on your bones to turn them in the direction you want to go. This happens without a second thought with most actions. With exercise, training and anything strenuous, it can take more conscious effort to make yourself move or keep moving.


The more you exercise, the stronger your muscles can become and the easier your body moves and lifts weight. When you don’t exercise enough or if you lead a sedentary lifestyle, your muscles can become weak due to disuse. Muscles are thinner and start to have a limited capability for movement and exercise. They can shrink in size from that inactivity or when tissues have become damaged through disease, injury or surgery. That shrinkage is muscle atrophy, which is also known as “muscle wasting” or “muscle loss”. The only way to regain muscle is to use the muscle to have to build more muscles.


Isometric Exercises Are a Great Start

When your muscles are atrophied, it’s not a smart idea to jump straight into intense strength-training routines. Rebuilding muscle mass and strength takes time, but the result will be a healthier, more capable you! Going straight into what you used to do for exercise may just cause your body injury. You want to start off small when combating muscle atrophy.


Isometric exercises are a step in the right direction if you want to regain your muscle integrity. These are exercises you perform without any extra equipment or even training, and they are the smallest exercises you can do. Isometric exercises focus on muscle relaxation and contraction to get the muscles moving again. Here are some examples of isometric exercises:

  • Focus on your abdominal muscles. Tighten those muscles either sitting or standing, which causes the muscles to contract inward. Hold for 10 seconds, then relax your muscles. Repeat this exercise as many times as you want. Even though it doesn’t seem like much, these exercises combat muscle atrophy and help rebuild strength just like other exercises do.
  • For a mid-range isometric exercise, stand against a wall and slowly lower yourself into a sitting position. Focus on your quad muscles, or the muscles on top of your thighs. Contract those muscles and hold your position for 1 minute at a time or as long as you can.
  • Hold a plank for 30 seconds or 1 minute at a time for a more challenging isometric exercise.
  • Once you have mastered isometric exercises and you feel that your muscles are strong enough for weight-bearing exercises. We can help you with custom exercises and therapy treatments so you can get your muscles stronger while avoiding muscle atrophy.


Combat Your Atrophy with Help

Many people deal with muscle atrophy and don’t realize it. They may think that their workout must have been extra hard on their body for some reason. The problem might actually some form of muscle atrophy if it’s been weeks since the last workout. If you’re not injured or recovering from surgery, you can avoid muscle atrophy by making sure you don’t go longer than a few days at a time between exercises.


There are therapy treatments that can help you combat muscle atrophy in just a few minutes a day. Physical rehabilitation services seek to heal injuries and build muscle back through specific exercises catered to your health needs. Vibration therapy is incredibly helpful to patients because it focuses on muscle training and strength. It consists of a vibration platform patients stand on as it sends countless vibrations through the body. Those vibrations boost circulation and blood flow as they make your muscles contract and relax dozens of times per second.


Muscle atrophy begins to set in after two weeks of inactivity in healthy patients. Atrophy can happen even quicker with surgery and injuries. It can be hard to know what you need to be doing for your specific condition and the goals you have for the future. You can combat muscle atrophy the right way and make the most of your training and exercise time with customized training and healing. For professional help to build your muscles back up, call Olathe Chiropractic today at (913) 732-0087!

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