Muscle Loss – It Isn’t Just An Aging Issue
It might surprise you to know that muscle atrophy, which is a decrease in muscle mass and strength, is a prevalent condition that affects more than just the aging population. Matter of fact, it is generally understood that anyone over the age of 30 loses somewhere between 3-5% of muscle mass every 10 years.
In the time of Covid-19 where gyms have been shut-down and fitness regimens have been severely interrupted, the issue of muscle loss is a very real problem. Any life circumstance with limited movement can result in loss of muscle. At risk are people with sedentary jobs, others who have medical issues or who have been injured and those who have a chronic low level of activity. Symptoms of muscle atrophy include weakness, pain and significantly restricted mobility.
Factoid: Muscle tissue can show signs of atrophy from disuse in as little as three days and become significant in less than two weeks. ~ muscledefense.com
When muscle mass diminishes, the muscle that is lost is replaced with an increase in body fat and corresponding weight gain because muscle burns more calories –ie- the less muscle, the less ability for the body to burn calories, the greater fat accumulation and weight gain.
How Massage Therapy can support muscle atrophy:
While exercise is the primary response to muscle loss, massage therapy plays a significant role in supporting the growth of muscle tissue and prevention of further atrophy. Massage therapy is known to increase circulation of blood and nutrients throughout the body which feeds muscles and promotes growth of the tissue. As well, massage techniques are designed to release adhesions of muscle fibers and clear scar tissue that also encourages healthy muscle activity. In cases where there is inflammation of muscle tissue, massage can nourish and stretch the affected areas which promotes healing of inflammation and the thus the ability of the muscle tissue to respond to exercise.
Muscle atrophy is more common than most people realize, especially in such a sedentary society as we humans have generally embraced. Daily exercise is imperative to maintain optimum weight, muscle mass, physical strength, and flexibility at any age. Incorporating massage therapy into your health routine assures you will be able to continue to exercise and support healthy muscle presence which will support your ultimate vitality and wellbeing now and as you age.
For further reading: https://www.integrativehealthcare.org/mt/massage-improves-weak-and-atrophied-muscle/