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THYROID: Connection to Increased Injuries?

Updated: Jan 19

Happy Thyroid Awareness Month! January is a great month to talk about muscles and exercise. According to a survey of those who plan to make New Year’s resolutions, the most popular choices are:

  1. To live healthier at 23%

  2. To improve personal improvement and happiness at 21%

  3. To lose weight at 20%

People want to feel better and look better and the top two ways to achieve a healthier physical lifestyle is nutrition and physical activity. No wonder people are signing up for gym memberships, searching on YouTube for their new online trainers, and joining the Peloton wave. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how you become active, you just have to do it.


When a muscle undergoes intense exercise, muscle fibers are damaged and the body repairs it through various chemical and cellular processes. The body is meant to rebuild and repair however, there are different impairments that are associated with reduced efficiency of muscle repair. You guessed it. Hypothyroidism is one of them.


The thyroid is a gland responsible for the release of hormones that regulate metabolism, body temperature, synthesis of collagen, growth and development of the human body. In hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland does not function properly and therefore underproduces hormones resulting in an inefficient breakdown of fuel for energy. This can lead to increased weight gain, injury prevalence, slower recovery time, and joint stiffness. In recent studies, hypothyroidism has not been directly correlated with tendinopathies, however there was a study that hypothyroidism can lead to increased hyaluronic acid deposition in connective tissue, ligaments, and joint structures leading to laxity in the ligaments and joint instability.


When there’s laxity in ligaments and the connective tissue of the joint, there’s an increase in risk of tears, falls, and injury requiring potential surgical interventions. Also, with a decrease in metabolism, there is a delay in recovery and rebuilding damaged tissues resulting in increased risk of re-injury and increased time before returning to regular activities and exercise.



Tips

  • If you feel like you are having difficulties with hormonal imbalance, check in with your primary care physician and consider getting a hormone assessment.

  • Make sure to stretch for at least 30 minutes before and after a workout to ensure optimal length of fibers and tissues

  • Allow additional time to recover

  • Monitor injuries with activities


Author: Dr. Mièka Bryan PT, DPT




References:

  1. https://discoverhappyhabits.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/#:~:text=to%20lose%20weight.-,2022%20Statistics,and%20losing%20weight%20(20%25)

  2. Charge, S. B. P., and Rudnicki, M.A. (2004). Cellular and molecular regulation of muscle regeneration. Physiological Reviews, Volume 84, 209-238

  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279388/

  4. https://www.womenshealthnetwork.com/thyroid-health/muscle-joint-pain-hypothyroidism/#:~:text=Why%20does%20low%20thyroid%20function,isn't%20being%20burned%20efficiently

  5. InformedHealth.org [Internet]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-. How does the thyroid gland work? 2010 Nov 17 [Updated 2018 Apr 19]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279388/

  6. https://www.verywellhealth.com/muscle-and-joint-pain-with-thyroid-disease-3231813



Disclaimer:


This information is generalized and intended for educational purposes only. Due to potential individual contraindications, please see your primary care provider before implementing any strategies in these posts



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