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Article – Muscle Atrophy Symptoms Causes-and Treatments. | | Poignancy regarding #chronicillness & the wastage in my left leg.

Article from > Health Guidance

Title – Muscle Atrophy Symptoms Causes-and Treatments.

Link to article:  Muscle Atrophy Symptoms, Causes and Treatments


#Fibromyalgia #chronicpain #ChronicFatigue #hypermobilty #ChronicAnxietyDisorder  #Depression  #mentalhealth #copingstrategy #MuscleWastage #MuscleAtrophyMuscle Wastage

Why is this article poignant to me right now?

This was a must read for me as my hydrotherapist mentioned that she could see the muscle wastage in my left leg at one of my last sessions.  I have been on a personal battle to prevent this disuse atrophy from happening for a number of years but could not get appropriate treatment due to not having an official diagnosis.

This is of no fault of my doctors, or, consultants as the chronic illness which I have are complicated to diagnose, with exception to my Joint Hypermobility Disorder/Connective Tissue Disorder as I was born with that… unfortunately just not diagnosed until 39 years old after chasing answers for 20 years.   Of course, over the years I have also developed Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia which have also contributed to my muscle wastage through living life in constant chronic pain and very little sleep leaving me with a flat battery… it all takes its toll!

I went from working 40+ hour weeks, to 23 hours, to nothing in less than one year because my body kept defying me… in varying ways!  Not just chronic pain and fatigue!!  I was only in my early thirties!!!

Suddenly, my body wasn’t active enough to sustain its usual levels of fitness resulting in dislocating kneecaps, sliding knees, varying joints popping and cracking, back problems, pelvic problems, hip problems such as Bursitis.

Bursitis in my left hip means my clothes size is big, it also affects my walking and vice versa, and at times renders me immobile for a few days.  Long enough for things to begin to deteriorate.  The problem is that any break in routine involving physio / exercise can cause catastrophic setbacks.

Now probably because of disuse I have muscle wastage in my left leg, possibly disuse atrophy.

Remember there are many kinds of atrophy but I know that being immobile for a while, after having major surgery, will indicate ‘disuse’ as the type that I have.  Also remember that this is all supposition based on conversation with my hydrotherapist not my GP or consultant, and also research into muscle wastage.



I was told at 39 that I would need to endure hydrotherapy to help rebuild stamina and core muscle tone before being allowed ground based physiotherapy, this was of no surprise to me as I had always been incredibly active until the age of 33 when my body gave up  😮

So, I began a journey of self-enhancement and was happy to try the hydro even though it made my knees slide and my joints didn’t like the aftermath. I could barely move all week and it would be the next session again…

4 years on and no further forward as my skin has also plagued my attempts at hydrotherapy, last time and this time! Hence the break in HHorH posts and I am unsure how my skin will continue to be.  I must pursue my self-enhancement to improve my quality of life, or I’ll be an old-age pensioner before I’m 50.

… My Hydro Heaven or hell (HHorH) posts explain my first journey with that so don’t wish to re-write it so here’s the link to that Introductory HHorH post.

Link to HHorH Part one – – hydrotherapy heaven or hell part one



All in all I have had a life of sports injuries (early life), falls (countless times), dislocations/partial dislocations, back problems (including spina bifida occulta and curvature of the spine) congenital bone deformities including an extra bone (tail bone) and chronic pain.

I trust my Hydrotherapist, and, my doctor, so I hope that with that alongside the support that I receive from family and friends  it will be a support system which will, hopefully, help me to succeed in my mission to rebuild my core muscle structure for balance and co-ordination, but also to hopefully improve my left leg.  I know I will not regain it fully but any improvement will be welcomed.  These hydro sessions are for the Fibro and pain and remaining positive about it I am sure they will help me a lot in the long run.


I know I’m not alone with this affliction and understand the plight of thousands just like me who look well, all/most, of the time but yet stand to criticism for being lazy, not doing enough, not eating right, not exercising to lose weight or to improve ourselves.  When you have hypermobilty life is hard, when you add chronic pain, fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue then life becomes incredibly difficult to manage and control. 


Personally speaking

  • I have no balance and co-ordination with a side order of poor muscle structure that makes walking with hypermobility incredibly difficult, painful, and frustrating. 


  • I’m medically advised not to pursue regular gym programs, bend or strain my back  / pelvic region for many reasons, not just for poor muscle structure. 


  • I am also medically advised to live life with the least amount of stress possible.


  • I find it incredibly painful to sit in the normal seated position / chairs, this causes me no end of problems hence the reason why I sit on my bed most of the time… contributing factor to muscle wastage.  It is a catch 22 decision because if I sit in a regular chair for a short while it mill mean that I will have mobility issues for hours afterwards.  Not to mention the excruciating pain in the lower spine and sliding kneecaps as a result of doing so.


  • I need to use 2 walking sticks when I am out and about on foot because of balance and co-ordination problems, the only problem is that using the sticks causes bursitis in my elbows, and upsets my shoulders too.   This is a contributing factor to my muscle wastage because I now require an electric chair to get me from A to B to help prevent the bursitis getting out of control.


  • I currently use an electric chair, I currently don’t walk distances because I don’t have the muscle stamina, strength, balance or co-ordination.


How is it possible to avoid ‘disuse’ muscle atrophy when you are restricted with what you are allowed, or advised, to do?

It possibly isn’t so it is important to keep going and not to stop getting up and moving around, even if you walk round the block, up and down the stairs or to your local shop and back you are helping to prevent muscle wastage.

My wastage could be down to a number of factors from the afore-mentioned list, but what is more important to me now is ‘how can I reverse it?’

My answer to myself is… stick with my hydrotherapy and remain hopeful for positive changes.

Another side effect of chronic illness which contributes to the fatigue and pain of illnesses such as Fibromyalgia, EDS, HSDs, Lupus etc, is of course Mental Health.  It is important to keep positive and to not give up even when your body is fighting you!

Normally, I don’t give two hoots what people think about me, you either like me, or, you don’t but recently there have been the odd incident where ignorance has blind sided me. Personally, I have wasted so much time chasing a diagnosis to care what my critics think anymore so why did their ignorance/lack of understanding bother me?

Over the years I have endured enough years of mental health problems including a Chronic Anxiety Disorder, and Depression, as a result of folks just not seeing and understanding.  I retreated into my safe haven that was created as part of my anxiety management and pretty much became a hermit who hardly ever goes out, though that is slowly improving since getting an electric power chair and having anxiety management.

See, even the depression you endure, the stress and anxiety, fatigue, pain and loneliness all contribute in the long run towards muscle wastage.

Now I spend time helping to raise awareness of the conditions that plague me and other chronic warriors and their families/friends/carers.

May12th was International Awareness Day for Fibro/CFS/ME, with May also being the awareness month for Mental Health, EDS and HMSD (Zebras), Lupus,.. and many others.  I write this just to show a ‘wee’ glimpse of what it’s like to live with these conditions.  I am not lazy, I have chronic/long term musculoskeletal problems/disorders, including weakness down my left side for the last 10 years, alongside many other chronic illnesses connected to them, it doesn’t matter whether my face smiles at you and I look fine to you because I don’t have a problem with my face 😉

More often than not it is easier to smile and say, ‘yeah I’m fine’, than to explain why I’m not


Many thanks for reading about my experiences in relation to the recent discovery of muscle wastage in my left leg .

I also hope the article is as helpful for you as it is for me 🙂

Wishing you all wellness and less pain

Thanks to everyone who has helped to raise awareness

Carole (Fluffmeister) Scrafton 😀


Again may I remind readers

Remember there are many kinds of atrophy but I know that being immobile for a while, after having major surgery, will indicate ‘disuse’ as the type that I have.  Also remember that this is all supposition based on conversation with my hydrotherapist not my GP or consultant, and also research into muscle wastage.

Also, please consult your GP if you suspect a health problem, please do not use the links from this post to self-diagnose.

Plus, I am not a medical professional just a fellow chronic warrior writing down some words 🙂


Further reading / other links

My blog posts:-

Hydrotherapy – Heaven or hell? Part Two – session one / week one

Hydrotherapy – Heaven or hell? Part Three – sessions/weeks two & three

Hydrotherapy – Heaven or hell? Part Four – Week Four starting 22/02/201


Spoonie Talk:

Avoiding ‘Boom and Bust’ with Pacing and Spacing


Medical news article: 

Muscle Cramps (Charley Horse) and Muscle Spasms |By John A. Daller, MD

NHS Choices: Ten ways to fight your fears – Stress, anxiety and depression – NHS Choices

This Is Your Body On Anxiety

All the above posts are from this site >


Health Guidance Home –

Muscle Atrophy Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

WebMD Home –

WebMD : Weakness and fatigue Topic overview

MedlinePlus Articles:

medlineplus article – Muscle atrophy

Updated May 2017