All of these are quotes from the article;
“It is probable that immobilized muscles eventually receives less motor drives from the spinal motor neurons.”
“Muscles immobilized in a shortened position undergo more atrophy than muscles immobilized in a neutral position.”
“Many skeletal muscle fibers undergo segmental or even complete necrosis (death of living cells).”
Wow that sucks!
“In general, however, it is the lack of trophic (nutritional) influences to the muscle via its motor nerve which makes recovery such a long lasting process.”
I bring this subject up, because I have a shortened tricep long head (#1 on this site, http://www.exrx.net/Muscles/TricepsBrachii.html
) on my left arm. Now picture the long head stopping about 1 inch to the left of normal, farther up the arm toward the shoulder.
I broke my forearm when I was 19 (10 years ago) and my arm severely atrophied. Before that, my tricep was the same shape on both arms as far as I can remember. So I was trying to research whether it was possible some tissue actually completely atrophied or died. Naturally, what I read above was disturbing, that complete necrosis was possible. I am not saying that it explains my misshapen tricep, but it could.
Regardless, I notice that my right arm pumps up easier. Say I do 2 sets of DB work for both arms, my right arm will already be getting a better pump. Maybe the tissue in my right arm is more sensitive (or just working properly) because it never atrophied. I have never really attacked it aggressively before. I found if I add 1 or 2 sets I can get an equal workout. So to actually catch up my left arm to my right I will have to probably to 3 to 4 extra work sets for it.
Just wanted to share this as insight into atrophy in case any else has had similar experience.
More info to come on atrophy…