It’s a fact: muscle weakness happens with age. After we pass middle age, we lose an average of 3% of our muscle strength each year. Loss of muscle strength is known as dynapenia and can occur in people of any age. Age-associated muscle degradation is called sarcopenia and is seen more often in people over the age of 50.
From doing chores around the house to playing in a golf tournament, dynapenia or sarcopenia (whichever you might be diagnosed with) can prevent you from doing some of the most routine things to some of the most physically challenging things. Bottom line: it’s not fun to lack the strength to be able to do what you want.
Muscle weakness can affect everyone, at any age. In the following article, we’ll go through signs and causes of muscle weakness and give suggestions on how to help strengthen the body, including how physical therapy, in particular, can help.
Am I Showing Signs of Muscle Weakness?
Muscle weakness can mean you’re working out too hard. It can mean you’re not working out enough. It can also indicate there are other health issues taking place. You may be experiencing early signs of muscle weakness if it’s difficult to do any of the following:
- Rise from a chair – does what used to take you 1 second now take you 10?
- Brush your hair
- Lift an object off a high shelf
- Climb a few steps
- Get out a car
- Step onto a boat
- Swing a golf club or a tennis racket
It’s always wise to see a medical professional. If you’re having trouble with anything on the above-mentioned list, there could be more going on behind the scenes than you’re aware of. Muscle weakness can be a symptom of other serious diseases, such as:
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Muscle Weakness Treatment
When your muscles start to weaken, you are at an increased risk for:
- Injury or disability
- Joint break-down, leading to earlier onset of arthritis
But the right treatment plan can help curb muscle weakness and minimize these risks. What’s more, a personalized treatment plan can be transitioned to a healthy exercise routine.
“Healthy” exercise is a tricky thing. The exercises you do need to be individually calibrated in order to be both safe and effective. Some people may go to the gym for years and do the right exercises but without the proper load or intensity. Without the proper load and intensity, they’re not building muscle mass. On the other hand, many take the concept of “feel the burn” and misapply it.
A qualified physical therapist, can show you where you can safely push yourself without going too far, but to push you enough to get you stronger. With their knowledge of how sensitive medical conditions coexist, they can teach you how to maintain your strength through the proper exercises.
Some people choose inaction over action because they’re afraid of hurting themselves. Don’t be afraid to get stronger. If you live in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida area, contact us at Clear Choice Physical Therapy.
We can help you maintain the muscle strength you need and keep the level of independence you want. We offer a range of basic treatments, including balance training and pain management, as well as advanced specialties that help us better deal with issues such as muscle weakness.
Give us a call today and get started on your path of recovery and rehabilitation.