Frequent question: What does it mean when a baby goes stiff?

Hypertonia is an umbrella term that describes when there is an abnormally high muscle tone in the infant’s body. High muscle tone causes the baby to be stiff and rigid, especially when held. Newborn babies with this condition may have difficulty with mobility and flexing.

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.

Why does my baby stiffen up and scream?

If a baby appears to be arching its back while crying intensely or straightening her legs and screaming at night, it COULD be a sign of something abnormal. Back arching is a common reflex that babies exhibit when they suffer from very acute or strong pain.

Can babies outgrow hypertonia?

The prognosis depends upon the severity of the hypertonia and its cause. In some cases, such as cerebral palsy, the hypertonia may not change over the course of a lifetime.

Does hypertonia go away?

Outlook With Hypertonia and Hypertonia

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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 straighten his body?

Sometimes your baby might arch their back because they don’t want to be held or fed. This kind of body stiffening could be a sign to put them down or change position. Some babies have strong back muscles and this may be the easiest way — other than crying — for their body to tell you what they want.

How do I know if my baby has Hypertonia?

A baby with muscle tone that is too tight or rigid may have hypertonia.

These signs include:

  1. Too much tension in the muscles while the baby is at rest.
  2. Rigid limbs and neck.
  3. Difficulty bending and stretching the arms, legs and neck.
  4. Very little or no movement of the limbs and neck.

What are signs of cerebral palsy in babies?

Possible signs in a child include:

  • delays in reaching development milestones – for example, not sitting by 8 months or not walking by 18 months.
  • seeming too stiff or too floppy (hypotonia)
  • weak arms or legs.
  • fidgety, jerky or clumsy movements.
  • random, uncontrolled movements.
  • muscle spasms.
  • shaking hands (tremors)

What is Hypertonia caused by?

Hypertonia is caused by upper motor neuron lesions which may result from injury, disease, or conditions that involve damage to the central nervous system. The lack of or decrease in upper motor neuron function leads to loss of inhibition with resultant hyperactivity of lower motor neurons.

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Can a child with Hypertonia walk?

Hypertonia is increased muscle tone, and lack of flexibility. Children with Hypertonia make stiff movements and have poor balance. They may have difficulty feeding, pulling, walking, or reaching.

Can babies with hypotonia walk?

Will my child ever walk? Although some severe cases of hypotonia confine people to wheelchairs for their entire life, the majority of kids learn to walk. It will simply be on their own schedule.