Muscle Dysfunction

What is it?

Muscle dysfunction refers to any abnormal function or impaired movement of a muscle or group of muscles.


Muscle dysfunction can lead to reduced mobility, impaired balance, and increased risk of falls, as well as chronic pain and discomfort.

Our treatment techniques can be combined within a treatment plan tailored to the specific needs and goals of each patient.

The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms, correct muscular imbalances, and improve overall function. 


Our therapists use several techniques to manage muscle dysfunction, including:
  • Manual therapy: use of manual therapy techniques, such as soft tissue mobilization and joint mobilization, to reduce muscle pain and improve mobility.

  • Exercise therapy: use of customized exercise programs to target specific muscle groups and improve muscle strength, flexibility, and endurance.

  • Modalities: use of modalities, such as heat therapy, cold therapy, acupuncture, and electrostimulation, to relieve muscle pain and improve muscle function.

  • Education and home exercise program: education regarding proper body mechanics and posture, activity recommendations and modifications, and use of home exercise programs to maintain and improve muscle function.

Signs & Symptoms

Reduced ability to generate force with a muscle or muscle group.

Increased muscle tone or tension that restricts movement.

Difficulty moving a joint due to increased resistance to motion.

Involuntary, rhythmic muscle contractions that cause shaking movements.

Sudden, involuntary muscle contractions that can cause pain and limit movement.

Loss of muscle size and strength due to disuse or disease.


Trauma or overuse of a muscle can impair the structure of a muscle and lead to dysfunction.

Lack of physical activity or being sedentary for long periods of time can lead to atrophy which is the loss of muscle tissue.

Poor posture, such as slouching, or excessive back arching can result in overuse injuries to major postural muscles and lead to dysfunction.

Imbalances between opposing muscle groups, such as the quadriceps and hamstrings, can lead to muscle dysfunction.

Repetitive movements, such as typing or playing a musical instrument or repetitive manual labour jobs, can excessively stress certain muscles, leading to imbalances and dysfunction.

As we age, muscles and joints can become stiff, making it more difficult to maintain good posture, strength, and mobility.

Certain medical conditions, such as arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis, can limit muscle function and lead to muscle dysfunction.

A lack of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients can contribute to muscle dysfunction and weakness.

Risks if left untreated

Muscle dysfunction can lead to pain in the affected muscle or joint. The pain typically feels dull and may ache with use. Areas that are in a more severe state of dysfunction can feel sharp.

Chronic pain: If left untreated, muscle dysfunction can lead to chronic pain, which can negatively impact quality of life.

If a muscle is overused or imbalanced, there may be excessive demand on the structure which can increase the risk of injury. Common soft tissue injuries are strains, sprains, and tears.

Increased risk of falls: decreased mobility, coordination, and balance can increase the risk of falls, particularly in older adults.

Most weak or dysfunctional muscles will result in decreased strength, making it harder to perform physical activities. However, it is important to note that some muscle dysfunctions can result in increased strength (at the expense of other associated muscles).

Poor muscle function can lead to limited range of motion and decreased mobility, making it difficult to perform daily activities.

Uncorrected muscle imbalances may result in standing, sitting, and walking imbalances which can lead to further pain and discomfort.