What Are the Treatment Options for Muscle Atrophy?


Quick Answer

Treatment options for muscle atrophy include an exercise program that can be done at home, physical therapy, ultrasound therapy and surgery to correct contracture, explains MedlinePlus. There are two types of atrophy that occur: disuse atrophy and neurogenic atrophy.

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Disuse atrophy normally occurs when a person does not use his muscles enough, states MedlinePlus. This can occur due to a person's job, a medical issue that causes a person to be bedridden, or in special circumstances such as with astronauts in space. Neurogenic atrophy is a more severe form of atrophy and occurs suddenly. This type of atrophy occurs when there is an injury or disease of the nerve that connects to the muscle. Many diseases cause neurogenic atrophy such as neuropathy, polio, Guillain-Barre syndrome and Lou Gehrig's disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS.

While some muscle atrophy is normal as a result of aging, many other conditions contribute to or cause this condition, according to MedlinePlus. For instance, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, injury to the spinal cord and osteoarthritis contribute to muscle atrophy. Malnutrition, injury, burns and long-term use of corticosteroids also contribute to this condition. Even a minor case of atrophy can lead to a decrease of strength and mobility.

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