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Muscle Atrophy


Healthgrades Editorial Staff

What is muscle atrophy?

Muscle atrophy, or muscle wasting, results from loss of muscle tissue. Little or no physical exercise and a sedentary lifestyle are common causes of muscle atrophy, in this case called disuse atrophy. Other common causes of disuse atrophy include medical conditions that decrease mobility, such as rheumatoid arthritis (chronic autoimmune disease characterized by joint inflammation) or osteoarthritis (thinning and weakening of the bones), and injuries, such as broken bones and burns. The aging process often leads to slow but progressive muscle atrophy.<