Sarcopenia. Strange word. Common condition.
Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle mass and strength that
occurs with aging. (1) So all of us
Brooks folks will contend with sarcopenia at some point and to some
extent. Loss of skeletal muscle is one of the more remarkable changes related
to aging. Soft Health and Healing Clinic is sensitive
to this condition. Many of our older
Brooks chiropractic patients experience sarcopenia to some extent.
Muscles are important to spine health. So here, Soft Health and Healing Clinic presents this
discussion about sarcopenia along with some treatment recommendations.
To begin with, know that from the time you are born to around the
time you turn 30, your muscles grow larger and stronger. But at some point in
your 30s, you begin to lose muscle mass and function, a condition known as
age-related sarcopenia or sarcopenia with aging. People who are physically
inactive can lose as much as 3% to 5% of their muscle mass per decade after age
30. Even if you are active, you will still experience some muscle loss.
Even though there is no commonly endorsed test or specific
level of muscle mass for sarcopenia diagnosis, any loss of muscle mass is of
consequence because loss of muscle means loss of strength and mobility.
Sarcopenia typically accelerates around age 75 - although it may happen in
people age 65 or 80 - and is a factor in the occurrence of frailty and the
likelihood of falls and fractures in older adults like those due to
osteoporosis. (2) Soft Health and Healing Clinic finds, refers and/or cares for many
Brooks patients with spinal fractures.
So what can be done to prevent and/or treat sarcopenia
primary treatment for sarcopenia is exercise
. Specifically, resistance training
or strength training - exercise that increases muscle strength and endurance
with weights or resistance bands
- has been shown to be useful for both the
prevention and treatment of sarcopenia. (3)
Other approaches like antioxidant
and heightened dietary protein consumption have been explored.
One study showed that intake of a protein-calorie supplement by very old men
and women was associated with greater strength and muscle mass gains compared
to a placebo. (5)
Soft Health and Healing Clinic always advocates the most basic exercises so
that our Brooks patients will do them and keep doing them.(photo: ©iStockphoto.com
Sarcopenia results from decreased physical activity with
aging, a key factor in its development. Unfortunately progressive muscle
wasting occurs with aging with a range of significance from 8.8% in young old
women to 17.5% in old old men. (1) So Soft Health and Healing Clinic encourages exercise not
just for back pain and neck pain control and healing, but also for overall
health and well-being as our Brooks chiropractic patients age.
So contact Soft Health and Healing Clinic for a Brooks
chiropractic consultation as you age. As a part of your healthcare team,
Soft Health and Healing Clinic will help keep you from the effects of the strangely-named
condition of sarcopenia.