Kinesio Taping for Low Muscle Tone

Low Tone.  What does that mean?  What can we do about it?   

Muscle tone is a term used to describe the amount of tension in muscles at rest. Muscle tone is a spectrum. One can have high muscle tone, average muscle tone, and low muscle tone.  People can have any type of muscle tone and still be able to complete all tasks functionally and independently.  Today we are talking about low muscle tone. 

Low tone, hypotonia, and even floppy are words that may be used in literature to describe reduced muscle tension at rest.  People with low muscle tone may tire easily, may have poor resting posture, and may have increased flexibility.  Low muscle tone is a passive state.  Many medical professionals associate the term low tone with a diagnosis such as Down Syndrome. People with low tone can still be athletes. They can still be strong.  When muscles are activated and effort is put forth, you may be surprised at what a person with low muscle tone is physically capable of accomplishing.

Being low tone can sometimes mean that the joints are less stable because these people must work harder to activate the muscles around the joints.  Some targeted exercises and proprioceptive input can help to improve muscle activation, improve strength, and improve body awareness.  Activities such as Swimming, Yoga, and Gymnastics can help strengthen and promote core stability. 

This neuro typical 7-year-old girl has low muscle tone and surprisingly (not) back pain.  Her lordosis combined with her low muscle tone has led to pain when she performs some activities such as jumping.  Along with stretching and strengthening, she uses Kinesio Tape to help activate her core.  Kinesio Tape is not going to fix her low muscle tone.  But it is a good tool to bring awareness to her posture. This helps her alignment by protecting her spine and reduces her back pain.  When applied correctly, and after some muscle activation (activity or targeted exercise), the Kinesio Tape acts as a reminder to activate her abdominals and keep her alignment for a longer period. 

You can find this Kinesio Taping technique and many others in the Kinesio Taping in Pediatrics Manual.

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