Muscular atrophy is a condition characterized by a reduction of the volume and functional degeneration of the muscles. This happens due to the decrease in the volume of individual cells that compose them and the intercellular substance. The causes may be physiological (for example: aging) or pathological (for example: some diseases).

Muscle paralysis is the loss of muscle function. There are two forms in which muscle paralysis manifests:

Flaccid, also called "peripheral" or "atrophic", is characterized by the loss of voluntary movement and is accompanied by decreased muscle tone (muscles appear flabby and thinned, in the case of botulism infection). The flaccid paralysis can also affect individual muscles
Spastic is the loss of voluntary movement and is accompanied by an increase in muscle tone resulting in the constant state of contraction (spasticity) of the muscles (for example: in the case of tetanus infection).


What kind of diseases can be associated with muscle atrophy?

Diseases that can be associated with the presence of atrophy and flaccid muscle paralysis are the following:

  • Bursitis
  • Botulism
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Ichthyosis
  • Leprosy
  • Diabetic Foot
  • Poliomyelitis
  • Syphilis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

Remember that this is not an exhaustive list and it is highly recommended to consult your doctor, in case of symptom’s persistence.


What is the therapy for muscle atrophy?

Since the causes that lead to muscle atrophy are different, the remedies must be adapted to the individual situation and will depend from the identified underlying, primary disease.


When is most likely to contact your doctor in case of muscle atrophy?

In the case of atrophy and flaccid muscle paralysis it is always good to consult your doctor, especially if you suffer from an associated disease (see list of associated diseases).