Many parents ask the question about what it means when they have been told that their child has low tone. What exactly does this mean? Can low tone change? What is all this talk about their core strength? Does this affect them in daily life?
Here are the answers from an Occupational Therapy perspective… Let’s start with what muscle tone is. Muscle tone is the tension or contraction which a muscle has even in a resting position. A normal muscle tone will feel slightly ‘springy’ when the muscle belly is pressed. For example, when pressing into the middle of your bicep muscle, it feels firm but has a small amount of give before bouncing back. Our muscles are challenged throughout our day as we move, change body positions, and increase the demand on our muscles through speed of movement, control, and strength for various activities. If you have been advised by your child’s Paediatrician, Physiotherapist, Speech Pathologist or Occupational Therapist that your child has low tone, they are referring to the tension your child’s muscles hold, and they may refer to it as Hypotonia. Hypotonia can look like the following: