Sarcopenia is an age related disorder that results in muscle wasting.
It is no surprise that our population is aging but what we need to ask ourselves is whether we are adding years to life OR life to years.
In 2000, in the USA the annual cost of sarcopenia was $18.5bn that’s almost £12million or nearly 1.5% of total healthcare expenditure. Age related healthcare spending is predicted to rise from an annual cost of 21% to 27% between 2010 – 2060.
As we get older the process that our muscles go through to regenerate reduces. In adolescents and younger adults’ muscle protein turnover is around 1-2% per day. To put this into context this means that in 8 weeks our forearm muscles will have regenerated. The process is complex and scientific but for those that are interested here is a very simple explanation.
Death of the motorneurons within the muscle result in reduced numbers of motor units and reduced numbers of muscle fibres. Increased inflammatory markers play a role in this as well as lifestyle factors such as reduced physical activity, malnutrition and reduced amounts of dietary protein. The other factors that contributes to sarcopenia are our hormones – specifically a reduction of testosterone, estrogen and growth hormones, and an increase in myostatin.
Is it reversable?
YES! But how?
Resistance training is vital to reverse the impact of sarcopenia. Being in bed for 5 days has dramatic effects on our muscles as we age and training to regain this muscle can take over 8 weeks. But it’s not only bedrest that can influence our muscles. Merely a reduction in number of steps taken each day can reduce our muscle protein synthesis (how be build and break down muscles) and may not be recovered fully with training.
So how can you help yourself?
It’s simple and it’s not a medication….EXERCISE is the key!
And how can we help you?
Here at Complete Physiotherapy we have dedicated sessions for the older adults as well as core, upper and lower limb strength classes. All of our classes are led by our Physiotherapy Team and have a maximum of 6 people per class. This ensures you get the attention needed to improve your strength and combat effects of sarcopenia.
To book one of our classes call us today on 01189 462299.