June 25th, 2013


Muscles and Pain

Speaking as a middle aged guy (according to some definitions at least) i have to say it's kind of amazing how little work one needs to do to maintain a moderate amount of muscle mass.

I arrived at this conclusion in the negative direction. My arms aren't neither especially large nor especially muscled, but even so my right arm has shrunk noticeably when compared to my left. I noticed it at least two weeks ago, and the orthopedist commented on it at my appointment last week. (I'm not sure if he meant it as a cautionary tale to compel me to go to physical therapy, an attempt to reassure me that physical therapy would improve the situation so i shouldn't worry, or if he was just surprised at the difference.)

However at this point it's been about six weeks since the original injury, and when i first started noticing the difference it was only about four weeks. So on the one hand you can lost muscle mass pretty fast when those muscles are mostly incapacitated. However on the other hand (er, so to speak) it's not like my left arm has actually been doing that much work. Obviously i haven't been going rock climbing, i haven't been going to the gym, and i haven't been going rollerblading (except for that one night at Wumpskate, and even then it wasn't the whole night, and i wasn't wearing my wrist weights.)

So my left arm has maintained its muscle tone (at least compared to the right arm) just through trivial daily tasks. Carrying bags, opening doors, bathing, eating, typing, etc, which is both weird and kind of impressive.

As long as i'm talking about injury stuff though...

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On a not-very-different note, i need to come up with some kind of injury icon. Although by the time i get around to doing that it may be irrelevant :)