Research shows that the use of massage therapy post injury or after long periods of inactivity helps in the recovery process by increasing blood and oxygen flow and assisting in increasing range of motion.
This makes massage key in reducing muscular atrophy that comes from decreased use.
But what causes muscles to atrophy in the first place?
Muscle atrophy is the condition of muscles wasting away, and the primary cause is the lack of activity or movement. Other causes are malnutrition, aging, long-term excessive drinking (alcoholism), burns, injuries, or effects of stroke.
Muscle atrophy is also a problem in space flight, where astronauts are not experiencing gravity, and their muscles are not being taxed at all. Tests performed on astronauts have shown even when doing regular daily aerobic exercise combined with resistance training, significant muscular atrophy still occurred within six months of being onboard the International Space Station.
Learn more about the dangers of muscular atrophy and the benefits of massage in its treatment.
Image courtesy of: Internet Archive Book Images
“Observations from clinical practice have indicated that one of the most significant detrimental effects of disuse on the body is muscular atrophy. Disuse atrophy may occur from an injury that forces the individual to keep an area immobilized for a prolonged period. It may also occur in situations where bed rest or non-weight-bearing is mandated for rehabilitation from an injury. Regardless of the cause of the disuse we have now learned a great deal about what occurs in muscle tissue as a result of disuse, and it is clear that it leads to significant muscular dysfunction.”