Decreased strength, or muscle weakness, can be described as having difficulty using certain muscles or performing certain actions, even with maximal force. At some point in time, everyone has felt physically weak. According to studies, the average person can lose between 3-5% of their muscle mass each decade after age 30, and up to 50% by age 80. By staying active, one can decrease these losses in strength over time.
Common causes of decreased strength include, but are not limited to: muscle and/or joint pain, inactivity, aging, muscle tear or strain, infection or post-surgical status, decreased flexibility, pregnancy, diabetes, heart disease, chronic lung disease, anemia, depression, impaired circulation, poor balance, and neurological deficits.
Too often, people see these issues as barriers to improvement. At Makovicka Physical Therapy, we make it our goal to minimize these issues in order to restore a patient’s prior level of function and improve their overall performance and abilities. We work with you to create an individually specific routine of strengthening and stretching activities designed to improve your functional abilities. We specialize in functional motions and actions that are going to get you back to where you want to be.
Several ways of addressing a person’s decreased strength include improving strength, improving flexibility, improving balance and proprioception, improving joint mobility and integrity, and improving muscle elasticity.
Another factor to keep in mind with decreased strength is the mental aspect of someone’s condition. Weakness can be true weakness or perceived weakness. Someone may have weakness ascending or descending stairs, but if they perceive the action to be painful even before they perform the action, is it pain or decreased strength that is actually the barrier? Another part of our job, besides the actual exercises and activities, is finding the right mindset and approach to help you succeed. We strive to find the right approach and understanding to promote confidence and independence in all of our patients.
If you or anyone you know has been suffering from decreased strength, please do not hesitate to reach out to any of our convenient Makovicka Physical Therapy locations to see how our experts can help you.
Casey Buresh, PTA