Muscle Tone and Strength

Provide Strengthening Exercises And Compensatory Strategies

Muscle tone is the state of your muscles when at rest. It is the amount tension present when you have relaxed your muscles. Normal muscle tone allows us to contract and relax our muscles appropriately. Those with normal tone are able to use just enough energy to perform tasks at the proper speed. You can also have low muscle tone and high muscle tone. Those with low muscle tone tend to have a “floppy” or “mushy” feel to their muscles when at rest. They have difficulty with graded muscle control and require more energy and effort to move their muscles. They have lower tension in their muscles and these muscles tend to be in an elongated position when resting. This is what they require more energy to perform tasks. Those with high muscle tone, their muscles are getting more input than is necessary and they don’t have the opportunity to fully relax. They have too much tension in their muscles and they tend to be in a shortened position already. This may lead to contractures and difficulty stretching and achieving full motion. They may present with spasticity or rigidity of their muscles.

Muscle tone is not a reflection of muscle strength. Those with low tone may not have decreased strength. Many times they do not. Those with high muscle tone do not necessarily have adequate muscle strength.

Physical therapists can work with children to provide strengthening exercises and compensatory strategies to help them develop the ability to perform various tasks.


We look forward to supporting you and your child!

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