How do you strengthen a muscle?

Muscles stop working, or become weakened for a number of reasons:

  • When a joint is injured the muscles around it may become inhibited (prevented from working).
  • Some muscle groups have an inhibitory effect on other muscles – the most common of these is the Outer stomach muscle (rectus Abdominus – or the 6 Pack Muscle) inhibits the Deep Core Muscle (Transversus Abdominus – or the TABs muscle) – for more information on this read about Core Strengthening.
  • Neurological Conditions such as strokes or head injuries can stop muscles from working because the pathways from the brain are damaged.
  • Nerve damage from trauma or pressure on a nerve can stop the messages coming through from the brain so the muscle wont work.
  • Periods of immobility or bed rest may cause global muscle weakness in the body.
  • Surgery may cause muscles to become very weak.

Muscle Facilitation

Physiotherapy can be used in a number of ways to get the muscles going again and in our clinic we use many different techniques to get muscles working again.

  • Facilitation using stroking, tapping and manual stimulation
  • Neuro-muscular facilitation using a small muscle stimulator
  • Bio-feedback – either manual or using a mini bio-feedback machine to retrain the brain to know when the correct muscle is working
  • Proprioceptive Neuro-muscular Facilitation or PNF
  • Strengthening exercises
  • The Bobath approach to Neurological rehabilitation


These techniques will be used to retrain muscles, and we will decide what techniques to use depending on the findings of our assessment and why the muscle is weakened. In our clinic we try to use all the techniques available to us and are constantly updating our skills to offer the best treatment to the client.