What is the tone?

Oksana Vasilyeva
Oksana Vasilyeva
February 5, 2015
What is the tone?

The word "tone" we can often hear from doctors, and from fitness trainers, and nutritionists. However, the usual expressions “maintain tone” and “be in tone” are also familiar to many. And what is the tone?

Let's see what this word means, what is its origin and in what cases is it appropriate to use it?

Meaning and origin of the word

The word "tone" came to us from the Latin language (tonos). In translation, it means "stress." This meaning is the basis of the word “tone” as a medical and physiological term, which refers to the degree of tension, activity or vital activity of the whole organism or its individual muscles and tissues. Therefore, the term "tone" is used to refer to two basic concepts:

  • Tonus as a degree of vital activity or vital activity. In this sense, the word is used when they say, for example: "To increase the general tone of the patient."
  • Tonus as the excitation of nerve centers, not accompanied by fatigue. In this case we are talking about the degree of tension of individual muscles and tissues: "the tone of the heart muscle," "the uterus in the tone."

Tonus plays a huge role in the functioning of the whole organism. For example, thanks to muscle tone, we can maintain some posture or body position. The tone of the tissues provides pressure in the bladder and digestive organs, and also participates in maintaining blood pressure.