How do you deal with unbalanced muscle tone

Started by Mark Webb, 30th January 2017 at 11:30 pm

Home Page Forums Living With Spinal Cord Injury Walkers How do you deal with unbalanced muscle tone

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    Having had an incomplete spinal injury some 18 months ago, I find that my right side (most severely injured) is losing considerable muscle tone over the left. This leads to automatic compensation of movement (with the good side) which only compounds the issue as well as leading to increased wear and tear as well as pain! As this is an automatic thing (the compensation of movement) does anyone have any suggestions to manage this or has anyone else found this a problem?


    Hi Mark,

    I have noticed this problem too. I have physio once a month where she focuses on my core stability and exercises that make me stand correctly. She has also taken me to the local gym and given me a programme to do, to help with muscle tone. I have regular sports massages as I find that because I lean to one side/walk funny, I get a lot of stiffness/pain in my lower back and shoulder areas. It can be uncomfortable but it’s made a difference to my mobility and pain levels. I would make sure there’s no reason that you shouldn’t have them first though, depending on the cause of your injury.

    Hope that’s helpful,




    This is a definite problem for me. My injury was incomplete T6-ish and the muscles on the right of my lower body are far less strong and visibly smaller  than those on the left. I am able to walk unaided but with obvious gait issues.

    At around 22 months after my discharge from hospital, I had a period of a few months where I experienced increasing pain around my hips. This was put down to my modified gait – basically my body adapting to the way my hips/legs now moved. It reached the point where it was extremely painful to move, at which point I was prescribed various painkillers and anti-inflammatories, and after a while it went away by itself. I experienced a couple of flare-ups in the following few years, but these days I only experience similar symptoms if I have an extended period of inactivity.

    Whilst I’ve done my best to remain active, I have never managed to balance out the muscle tone/strength in my lower body, despite trying a number of different approaches. These days, I still try and exercise regularly and find that exercise and getting enough sleep make the biggest difference to how easy walking is.

    Sorry that I have no practical suggestions for your immediate situation – all I’d say is that going by my experience your body is still adapting to the changes forced on you and over time, things should hopefully get easier.

    Hope that is of some help.



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