Muscle atrophy is also known as muscle wasting. It is when the mass of the muscle decreases due to several factors. Chiropractic care deals with nerve, muscle and bone disorders. It does not use any form of pharmaceutical medicine and invasive surgical procedures in treating physical and physiological disorders. Chiropractors in restoring and preserving health and body functions use conventional treatments.
Signs and symptoms of muscle atrophy may include pain, muscle weakness, restricted movements, and decrease muscle tone. Symptoms usually appear depending on the location where the problem occurs. For instance, if the atrophy is on the face, then there is facial weakness, decrease facial expression, speak difficulties, and difficulty swallowing. If the atrophy occurs in the extremities, then there will be weakness of the extremities and limited range of motion and movement.
There are many causes of muscle atrophy. These causes may consist of lack of exercise or movement of the affected body part, muscle injury or accident, diseases such as arthritis, alcohol associated myopathy, long-term use of corticosteroid, burns, congenital disorders, and spinal cord injury. Chiropractors base their therapeutic program on the location of the affected part.
Spinal manipulation is the most common method used by chiropractors in treating spinal misalignment or deformity. Muscle stiffness causes abnormal curvature of the spine by pulling the vertebrae. Chiropractors perform spinal manipulation through applying several mild and soft thrusts onto the spinal area. This is done in successive sessions with a chiropractor until the structure of the spinal column is reestablished.
Massage therapy is another chiropractic treatment used to treat muscle wasting. It helps to disentangle any twisted or distorted muscle fibers. Furthermore, it helps to relax the muscles to prevent continuous involuntary muscle contraction. Another method that chiropractors use is the dry needling therapy. Trigger points where the muscle or tissue is damaged cause pain. To relieve pain, these muscles and tissues are treated by inserting fine needles through the skin into the affected muscle or tissue.
Exercise is a very important chiropractic method of treating muscle atrophy. Exercise enhances muscle strength and joint mobility. With proper exercise and stretching technique, spasm and strain of muscles, ligaments and tendons are prevented. It also increases blood circulation needed for healing because blood carries nutrients and minerals needed for the muscle to heal.
Application of hot and cold is also necessary in treating muscle wasting. Cold compact reduces swelling and inflammation by inhibiting cell fluid from escaping. On the other hand, hot compress is applied to increase blood flow to the affected area essential for healing. Chiropractors also use electrotherapy to treat atrophy. It is done by applying controlled and small amount of electricity to inhibit involuntary muscle contraction and prevent muscle spasm that causes atrophy.