Elevated tone (hypertonia) is a common problem seen in the paediatric clinic. For most children and young people, hypertonia is just one aspect of a broader disorder of movement and posture. This paper describes a clinical approach to the management of hypertonia in children, considering the contribution of high tone to the functional problems experienced by the child, the potential adverse effects of reducing tone, side effects of the intervention and the importance of setting objectives/goals for intervention which can be measured at follow-up. We describe this as the ‘MOTOR’ approach and provide some examples of how it can be used in practice.
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