Heat Therapy Could Prevent Muscle Atrophy

Do you have a desk job, in which you are sitting at the desk and not walking or doing enough physical activity each day? And additionally there are those who drive to work. They go right from the house or apartment to the car and right from their work parking lot to their office.

Well, such inactivity could cause a problem or weakness in your muscles. But there could be a therapy maybe even as simple as heating pads to reduce the possible negative results of such non-physical activity.

One of Mark Sisson’s Friday links was to this study, which showed that “Daily heat treatment maintains mitochondrial function and attenuates atrophy in human skeletal muscle subjected to immobilization.”

In the abstract, the authors state: “Our findings demonstrate that daily heat treatments, applied during 10 days of immobilization, prevent the loss of mitochondrial function and attenuate atrophy in human skeletal muscle. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Limb immobilization results in substantial decreases in skeletal muscle size, function, and metabolic capacity. To date, there are few, if any, interventions to prevent the deleterious effects of limb immobilization on skeletal muscle health. Heat stress has been shown to elicit a stress response, resulting in increased heat shock protein expression and improved mitochondrial function. We show that during 10 days of lower-limb immobilization in humans, daily exposure to heat stress maintains mitochondrial respiratory capacity and attenuates atrophy in skeletal muscle. Our findings suggest that heat stress may serve as an effective therapeutic strategy to attenuate the decreases of muscle mass and metabolic function that accompany periods of disuse.”

So, if you are not exercising enough, not walking enough or not doing enough physical activity involving your legs and arms and so on, you could be causing loss of muscle function. That’s not good, especially in older people. But I guess if that occurs, then applying heat to the areas could help to prevent such a weakening to occur, or at least to minimize it.

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