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Core Strength: What does low muscle tone mean for my child and how to help them?

Do you find your little one struggling almost every time to perform physical activity, trouble in toilet training, often to avoid doing the things, get easily tired and poor posture? These are some of symptom which you might notice in your kids. Children with low muscle tone often get difficulty with their movement and posture.

What is low muscle tone?

In more specific term; Low muscle tone is used to describe when the muscle is floppy or less stiff. Low muscle tone occurs when the length of resting muscle is slightly longer and they need to put more effort to get their muscle move when doing activities.

Why is it important to help children with low muscle tone?

Muscle tone is to assist in maintaining good posture, sustain a muscle contraction for motor skill, coordination, and balance skills. In term of health and function it is increased energy, more stamina and better flexibility.

In some children with low muscle tone they having a problem with posture and it is lead to slouching while sitting, rounder shoulder and walking with the head hung low. Low muscle tone also can affect children motor skill development, difficulty with speech or feeding, difficulty in toilet training, weakness on core muscle and body awareness.

How parents can help children with low muscle tone in activity daily living

Children with low muscle tone may take a little longer to learn new skills and activities. Slightly have difficulty in maintaining a posture, so they need supportive chair or seat cushion to maintain good posture. Alternate seating like gym ball or wedge cushion also can help to improve posture.

In other way, parents also can let child to lay on his/her stomach during floor work to decreased muscle fatigue and they can concentrate to do activities. Exercise focus on core muscle strength such as lie on the stomach position fly like superman, pelvic bridging, side plank, plank ( each exercise hold for 8 second, relax and repeat for 5 times). On fun play time can do games activity that improve in physical activity such as climbing up a slide at playground.

1. Fly like superman

2. Pelvic bridging

3.Side Plank

4. Plank

*If you need more core strength exercise, check out for materials*

How physiotherapy can help children with low muscle tone.

As a result, low muscle tone can affect children ability on functional activity daily living. Physiotherapy will work with parents to create a specific treatment program to ensure improved for muscle movement, stimulate motor nerve and strengthen the muscle with exercise.

  • Strengthening exercise to help stimulate motor nerve to improve muscle strength and endurance

  • Balance training

  • Core stability exercise

  • Regular weight bearing exercise to increase joint awareness

  • Muscle stretching and joint mobilization to maintain range of motion

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