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Biology, Uncategorized

Inflammation and strength

As I’m still recovering from three years of a wrist disaster I’m working on building my strength back up. But my physio said something this morning that I found quite intriguing. Basically, if you try to strength train while you have lots of inflammation it’s like hitting the start button on a machine when the machine is unplugged, nothing is going to happen. So of course, I want to find the research that support this.

  • Bartali et al (2012) found that seniors with lots of inflammation and a low protein diet lost more muscle mass than seniors with less inflammation and the same diet.
  • Norman, Stobaus, Kulka, and Schulzke (2014) found that acute inflammation markers in the body significantly reduced hand grip strength regardless of age, gender, and body composition.
  • McDermott, et al (2007) studied individuals with lower extremity peripheral arterial disease (which is a narrowing of the arteries in the legs) and found that increased markers of inflammation were associated with lower calf muscle density and lower calf strength.

So this does make sense to me, because days where my wrist is more inflamed I do seem to have more trouble gripping things, even basic things that I can normally grip. Some days I will carry things in my injured hand, but other days I won’t carry anything. I always kind of associated this with the pain but it seems to make more sense in my brain based on how it feels that there is actually a difference in the strength. It also does lend some support to not necessarily forcing my strength training when my wrist isn’t doing well. I just need to have fewer and fewer bad days to be able to continue to do that.

About Tai Munro

I am passionate about making science, sustainability, and sport accessible through engaging information and activities.


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