What are the Symptoms of Hypotonia?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Nov 13, 2014

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Quick Bites

  • Decrease of muscle tone is known as hypotonia.
  • Hypotonia occurs when damage is caused to brain, spinal cord.
  • Infants with hypotonia appear floppy.
  • Adults suffering from hypotonia are clumsy.

What is Hypotonia?

A medical term to describe a decrease in muscle tone is called hypotonia. Even when the muscles are relaxed, they have a very small amount of contraction which provides them their springy feel and gives them resistance to passive movement. Although hypotonia is different from muscle weakness, the two conditions can co-exist.

Hypotonia occurs when there is damage to the brain, spinal cord, nerves or muscles. Sometimes the cause hypotonia may not be known. Symptoms of Hypotonia

Hypotonia Symptoms

Symptoms of Hypotonia

When the condition occurs in infants, they have a floppy quality appearance as their arms and legs hang by their sides and they have very little or no control over their head. Other symptoms of hypotonia include mobility problems, breathing and speech difficulties, ligament and joint laxity and poor reflexes.

Other signs and symptoms of hypotonia include:

  • Infants feeling limp as if they could slip through the hands
  • Inability to place weight on leg or shoulder muscles
  • Arms and legs hang straight from the sides. No bending on the elbows, hips and knees
  • Difficulty in swallowing or sucking
  • Having a weak cry

Hypotonia Symptoms

Children suffering from hypotonia are unable to reach their developmental milestones, like sitting up, crawling, walking, talking and feeding themselves.

When an adult suffers from hypotonia they usually experience the following symptoms:

  • Clumsiness and falling frequently
  • Difficulty with getting up from lying or sitting position
  • High flexibility in hips, elbows and knees
  • Difficulty reaching for or lifting objects

Image courtesy: Getty Images

Read more on Hypotonia Signs and Symptoms.

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