What do master athletes and couch potatoes have in common?
Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle mass and function. (1,2) Osteoporosis and its related falls and fractures are connected with sarcopenia. A grip strength test reveals just how much as women with lower grip strength have 11.7 times higher odds of having osteoporosis. (3) Lombardy Chiropractic Clinic tests this and much more in our Augusta chiropractic patients to keep a look out for signs of sarcopenia and osteoporosis and help our patients ward it off and/or deal with it as best as possible.
Sarcopenia is age- and activity-related. Physically inactive people in Augusta and elsewhere can lose as much as 3% to 5% of their muscle mass per decade of life after age 30. Physically active people experience some muscle loss due to aging, but not usually as much. After age 75, sarcopenia really accelerates for most people though some experience it at 65 or 80. Whenever it occurs, the likelihood of falls and fractures increases as does the occurrence of frailty. (2) Lombardy Chiropractic Clinic encourages you to understand sarcopenia and know that there are ways to minimize its effects, particularly the falls which are life-altering and sometimes even life-threatening for older folks.
Inactivity plays a big role, so Lombardy Chiropractic Clinic continues to encourage all of our Augusta chiropractic patients to get out and do! However, even physically active people experience sarcopenia due to one or more of these factors (2):
- Reduction in hormones
- Age-related reduction in nerves cells moving signals from the brain to the muscles to start movement
- Decrease in ability to synthesize protein
- Not enough caloric intake or protein to sustain muscle mass
In this study comparing women with sarcopenia to women without, women with sarcopenia are at higher risk (3):
- 12.9 times higher odds of having osteoporosis,
- 2.7 times higher odds of having fractures, and
- 2.1 times higher risk of falls during the preceding 12 months.
Exercise is huge! It’s an integral part of the Augusta chiropractic treatment plan along with chiropractic spinal manipulation with our Cox Technic for all our patients. It’s the primary treatment for sarcopenia and its prevention. Resistance training and strength training with weights or resistance bands build muscle. Such exercise positively influences protein synthesis and hormone concentrations and the neuromuscular system. You may even see changes in as little as 2 weeks! (2,3) So talk with us about your exercise plan as the type, repetition, and frequency are all important factors for it to be effective.