What causes lack of muscle coordination and how to treat it?

Symptom Database

Have you ever experienced difficulty in coordinating your movements? Do you find it challenging to perform tasks that require precise muscle control? If so, you may be suffering from a lack of muscle coordination, also known as coordination impairment or motor coordination difficulties. In this article, we will explore the causes of this condition and discuss various treatment options available.

Understanding Lack of Muscle Coordination

Lack of muscle coordination refers to the inability to execute smooth and controlled movements. It can affect various parts of the body, including the limbs, hands, fingers, and even the tongue. Individuals with coordination problems often struggle with activities such as writing, typing, playing sports, or even walking.

Coordination impairment can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Neurological disorders: Conditions such as cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, or Parkinson’s disease can disrupt the brain’s ability to communicate with the muscles effectively.
  • Muscle weakness: Weak muscles can lead to poor coordination as they are unable to generate enough force to perform movements accurately.
  • Injury or trauma: Head injuries or damage to specific areas of the brain can result in coordination difficulties.
  • Developmental disorders: Some individuals may experience coordination problems due to developmental disorders like dyspraxia or autism.
  • Genetic factors: Certain genetic conditions can affect muscle coordination, such as muscular dystrophy.

Treating Lack of Muscle Coordination

While coordination impairment can be challenging to overcome, there are various treatment options available to improve muscle coordination and enhance daily functioning. The specific approach depends on the underlying cause and severity of the condition.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy plays a crucial role in treating coordination problems. A skilled physical therapist can design a personalized exercise program to target specific muscle groups and improve coordination. These exercises may include:

  • Balance training: Exercises that focus on improving balance and stability can help individuals with coordination difficulties.
  • Strength training: Strengthening weak muscles can enhance overall coordination and control.
  • Coordination exercises: Specific activities that challenge coordination, such as catching and throwing a ball, can be incorporated into therapy sessions.

Regular physical therapy sessions, combined with consistent practice at home, can lead to significant improvements in muscle coordination over time.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy is another valuable treatment option for individuals with coordination impairment. Occupational therapists work with patients to develop strategies and techniques to overcome daily challenges. They may focus on:

  • Adaptive equipment: Recommending and teaching the use of assistive devices or tools that can compensate for coordination difficulties.
  • Task modification: Breaking down complex tasks into smaller, more manageable steps to facilitate successful completion.
  • Environmental modifications: Making adjustments to the individual’s environment to minimize obstacles and promote independence.

By working closely with an occupational therapist, individuals can learn practical skills to navigate their daily activities more effectively.


In some cases, medication may be prescribed to manage coordination problems. For example, individuals with neurological disorders may benefit from medications that help control muscle spasms or reduce muscle stiffness. It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate medication and dosage for each individual’s specific needs.

Speech Therapy

In instances where coordination difficulties affect speech and swallowing, speech therapy can be beneficial. Speech therapists can provide exercises and techniques to improve muscle control in the mouth and throat, enhancing communication and swallowing abilities.


Lack of muscle coordination can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life. However, with the right treatment and support, it is possible to overcome coordination difficulties and regain control over movements. Physical therapy, occupational therapy, medication, and speech therapy are all valuable tools in managing and improving coordination impairment. If you or someone you know is experiencing coordination problems, it is essential to seek professional help to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan. Remember, with patience and perseverance, significant progress can be made towards achieving better muscle coordination.

Haroon Rashid, MD
Rate author
Urgent Care Center of Arlington, VA
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