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How to Reduce the Muscle Tone & Stroke

author image Melissa Sabo
Melissa Sabo is an occupational therapist who started writing professional guidebooks for all Flagship Rehabilitation employees in 2009. Specializing in applied therapy and exercise for non-medical readers, she also coauthored a manual on wheelchair positioning. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Science in occupational therapy.
How to Reduce the Muscle Tone & Stroke
Senior woman at doctor with her arm in a splint Photo Credit: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Lightwavemedia/Getty Images

Increased tone in your arm your leg triggered by stroke, transient ischemic attack , i.e. "mini stroke" or any brain injury can be treated and managed to reduce the side effects. There are effective strategies that you can apply which will significantly reduce your tone and the accompanying pain, stiffness, decreased range of motion and decreased functional use

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Step 1

Apply moist heat via a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel to your arm or leg. Place the heat over the muscle belly that is tight and sore, creating increased tone. Add additional towels if your skin cannot tolerate the heat for 15 minutes.

Step 2

Rub the sore and tight area of your arm or leg with moderate pressure, increasing the blood flow to the tissue. Locate the muscle or tendon that feels tight and press perpendicular to the tight fibers for up to 90 seconds until your fibers relax. Stretch out the tight joint while applying pressure.

Step 3

Perform range of motion to the stiff joint to relax your muscles three to four times daily. Grab your limb below the tight area and stretch it in every direction, moving slowly and concentrating on the movement throughout. Hold your limb for 10 seconds when it is stretched out and release slowly.

Step 4

Prevent a contracture by wearing a splint to your arm or leg with increased tone. See a physical or occupational therapist to be fitted for a splint. Wear your splint six hours per day or while sleeping at night if your splint impedes your function.

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