The condition of having abnormally stiff muscles that are difficult to move is called hypertonia. In infants, hypertonia can be caused by a multitude of health problems, but typically results from damage to the nervous system. Hypertonia is also a symptom of cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, and kernicterus (jaundice).
Is it normal for babies to stiffen?
If your child is healthy and has had no developmental problems so far, you likely have nothing to worry about. Children sometimes stiffen up when they’re having a bowel movement, especially if the stool is hard. Another theory is that your child is simply stiffening because he’s excited or frustrated.
What does it mean when a baby is stiff?
If your child seems stiff or rigid, he may have what’s described as high muscle tone (hypertonia), which means that his muscles are chronically contracted. You may notice that your child holds his hands in tight fists or that he seems unable to relax certain muscles.
How do I know if my baby has hypertonia?
- Difficulty moving around.
- Awkward movements.
- Muscle resistance when your child tries to move.
- Muscle spasms.
- Uncontrolled crossing of the legs.
Can hypertonia in babies be cured?
Outlook With Hypertonia and Hypertonia
The treatment and prognosis of the condition will be unique to each person depending on the underlying cause and how it impacts their life. Hypotonia may be able to improve with pharmacologics and therapy. But the underlying conditions are usually permanent.
Why does my baby stiffen up and shake?
Moving their arms and legs all around can be one of the signs that your baby is hungry. Crying, which can also create shaking, trembling, or stiffening of the body, is also a late sign of hunger. Low blood sugar can also cause shivering in babies.
What are the signs to look for in neurological symptoms in infants?
Neonatal Neurological Disorder Symptoms
- Decreased level of consciousness.
- Abnormal movements.
- Feeding difficulty.
- Changes in body temperature.
- Rapid changes in head size and tense soft spot.
- Changes in muscle tone (either high or low)
How soon can you tell if a baby has cerebral palsy?
The signs of cerebral palsy usually appear in the first few months of life, but many children are not diagnosed until age 2 or later. In general, early signs of cerebral palsy include1,2: Developmental delays. The child is slow to reach milestones such as rolling over, sitting, crawling, and walking.
What does cerebral palsy look like in babies?
Signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy in infants younger than six months. When the baby is picked up while lying on their back, they cannot hold their head up. While being held, the baby may also overextend their back and neck as though they are pulling away. The baby feels stiff (hypertonic) or floppy (hypotonic).
Do babies with cerebral palsy smile?
Emotional and social milestones are not always as easy to assess, but delays in these can also indicate a child has cerebral palsy or another developmental disorder. A 2-month old baby should be able to smile at people and use simple self-calming techniques.
Does stiff baby syndrome go away?
Dystonia is characterized by involuntary, repetitive muscle contractions. While it’s important to be concerned about your baby’s health, there are many causes of stiff baby syndrome that can be completely harmless and easily fixed.
What causes hypertonia in infants?
The causes of central hypertonia include those with antenatal onset (such as developmental structural abnormalities to the brain, intrauterine infection, intracerebral haemorrhage, or ischaemic stroke), perinatal onset (such as ischaemic brain injury), and postnatal acquired brain injury.
Can babies with hypotonia walk?
A child with hypotonia often takes longer to reach motor developmental milestones, such as sitting up, crawling, walking, talking, and feeding themselves.
What are the symptoms of Hypertonia?
The symptoms associated with hypertonia include;
- Loss of function.
- Decreased range of movement.
- Rigidity of muscles.
- Spasticity of muscles.
- Tenderness and pain in the affected muscles.
- Rapid muscle contractions.
- Involuntary crossing of legs.
Does Hypertonia always mean cerebral palsy?
A baby with muscle tone that is too tight or rigid may have hypertonia. Hypertonia is a condition that essentially is the opposite of hypotonia. If left untreated, hypertonia can cause severe health issues in your child. Hypertonia may also indicate cerebral palsy.
How can I help my baby with high muscle tone?
Children with high muscle tone will benefit greatly from physical and occupational therapy to stretch affected muscles and strengthen opposing muscles which then improves overall functioning. Compensation strategies to work with an affected limb can also be taught as the child ages.