Muscle atrophy, in medical term, refers to as muscle wasting or wasting of the muscles which can be better described as a decrease in the mass of the muscle. It is commonly experienced in persons suffering temporary disabling conditions such as being restricted to movements or confined to bed as when hospitalized. Muscle atrophy leads to muscle weakness as the ability to exert force is directly related to mass. Basically, there are two types of muscle atrophy to be concerned about with one more severe than the other. The first one is the ‘disuse atrophy’ while the other one is ‘neurogenic atrophy’ and while both possess literally the same symptoms, the causes are dissimilar and treatments vary differently as well.
Muscle atrophy is simply the result of disuse of muscles, such as when a person is bedridden for a considerable amount of time and unable to move about in order to exercise the muscles. But the real culprit of muscle atrophy is a sedentary lifestyle and with vigorous exercise, the effects of this atrophy can be reversed. Neurogenic atrophy, on the other hand, is the result of damage to the nerve which stimulates the muscle, causing a shriveling around healthy limbs. Perhaps one of the most common causes of neurogenic atrophy is carpal tunnel syndrome. And one of the first signs of neurogenic muscle atrophy is a stopped posture.
Why is Posture Important for Muscle?
A good posture is described as how your body is positioned when you’re sitting, walking, or standing. It’s beneficial for a number of reasons, including that it places your body in an alignment where stress is properly distributed to the intended muscles and ligaments. Having a proper posture is important for breathing and spine strength. On the contrary, a bad posture can cause anything from back and shoulder pain to frequent headaches and muscle weakness. This is where the posture aids come to the picture.
Posture braces are a very common treatment for neck, shoulder, and lower back injuries. Braces are specially designed to provide support to your muscle and ligaments and they’ve been used around the world for many years. With posture braces, muscles are allowed to work efficiently and this decreases your risk of joint discomfort and degenerative arthritis. The stress placed on the ligaments holding the joints in your spine together is also considerably decreased with good posture. And a good posture can be maintained with posture braces. But do they actually work – and are they safe?
Can Posture Braces Cause Muscle Atrophy?
It’s true posture braces are a valuable resource to achieve and maintain a good posture. Used correctly, posture braces can help you look good and feel better. This is especially beneficial to those who’re suffering from back pain as a result of an ongoing medical condition or a temporary injury. However, excessive use of posture braces except in extreme cases can have adverse effects on your body and can cause muscle atrophy, especially in your oblique muscles. Remember, posture braces are only temporary solutions – they are not supposed to be used over extended periods of time. Excessive use of braces can make your muscles weak and may even cause further injury due to the aid supporting the excess weight instead of the muscles, causing muscle atrophy.
Corseting, or using posture correctors, can affect many parts of the body, one way or another, some systems more obviously than others. One of the basic parts that braces affect is the underlying core muscles. Posture braces are not a permanent solution to your posture problems, however, they can be every effective against neck, shoulder, or back pain. If you don’t wear it enough, you’ll be losing out on the benefits that postures braces offer, and at the same time, excessive use of the same can have severe effects on your body, such as muscle atrophy.
Many doctors even believe that excessive use of back braces on a daily basis for long-term may also result in muscle atrophy. In other words, the muscles and ligaments that do not function due to the support of the brace will start getting weak, which eventually will demand more and more from the back brace. At some point, the brace will not be able to do that much work for what it’s actually intended for, which further results in an injury. Since muscle and ligaments get weak over time with the use of a back brace, your spine becomes vulnerable without the posture support. The spine then tends to be at a higher risk of injury than what it was supposed to be had the brace not been worn.
Those who have experienced muscle atrophy before can tell that they get fatigued easily when standing unsupported by their braces for an extended period of time. How bad your atrophy is, depends entirely on how tight or how loose you wear your corset. Let’s say, if you wear your back brace with more reduction, it’s more likely that it will encourage muscle stretching. This is great for people who have overtense muscles who often experience back cramping, but too long relaxation can cause atrophy. It wouldn’t be wise to wear your corset to the point of atrophy.
Though there are many different posture braces available out there on the market, you should totally avoid posture correctors that literally force the shoulders into correct posture. These posture correctors, which might get the job done, can lead to muscle weakness over time, potentially causing your posture to worsen over extended use. A good posture brace, one the other hand, does not force your shoulders into correct posture; instead, it provides a decent reminder to keep your shoulders in correct posture, eventually strengthening the upper back part of your body over the long term.
Not everybody experiences atrophy, however, many posture aid users have experienced that wearing their corset at a slightly lighter reduction can help them improve their posture at all times through muscle memory. Additionally, lightly corseted has also encouraged them to keep their abdominals engages at all times. How often should you wear a brace depends on what activities you are doing. However, the only time you should wear your brace for an extended period of time is if you’re in too much pain. There are many small things you can do while wearing your brace; it’s still possible to engage some of your abdominal muscles, at least up to a certain reduction – so atrophy of your core muscles while wearing a posture brace is not entirely true.