How to recognize and deal with increased muscle tension in an infant?
Increased muscle tension (muscular hypertonia) in an infant can be dangerous, and in
in some cases, it may even require assistance. The good news is you can
learn to recognize the baby’s first symptoms of hypertonia and how to strive for
normalizing the infant’s increased muscle tone before any develop
effects due to the persistence of constantly increased muscle tone. Read on to
find out what causes muscle hypertonia in infants, how to identify it, and try to do it
prevent it and how to deal with the regularly increased tension and consequences in
in the absence of adequate therapy.
What is muscle tension and when does pathology occur within it?
As babies grow and develop, we can see a number of changes appearing in infants with
hypertonia. Babies may begin to feel an increase in muscle tension by letting us know
by crying (because of the pain). It is manifested by muscle tension,
difficulty moving the limbs, and even pain. There is usually increased muscle tone
caused by stress or anxiety. Keep in mind that this could be a particularly misleading observation
in the case of children with neurological dysfunctions. In the context of voltage normalization
There are a number of techniques, methods, and activities that pave the way for single performance
movements. Therapists use massage and therapy techniques for children and adults
manual, stretching exercises, and relaxation techniques combined with meditation, pinotherapy or
dry needling. The problem, however, arises when parents do not know how to relieve it
the suffering of the infant. A visit to a physiotherapist is necessary to initially establish the cause
of this muscle hypertonia, and only later it is possible to choose appropriate measures, e.g.
Shantala massage, Vojta methods, Bobath methods, MEDEK methods, rolling, and fun combined with
individual movements cause a state of relaxation and stretching, consolidation of the correct
movement patterns, and work on the gradual disappearance of pathological movements. Sometimes
therapists use certain elements of PNF that are appropriate and harmless to infants. The parent does not
he should, therefore, be concerned if there are any ways to combat muscle hypertonia. One of
There are ways to tell if your baby is straining your muscles, there are
by checking his posture when lying down or standing: if he seems “stiff” or has problems with
lifting the head, leg or arm may be a sign of increased muscle tone that
it blocks movement in the joint, which may even lead to contractures. If your child experiences
these symptoms for more than a few days, see a specialist to rule out any problems
or health issues that can cause them. Do not wait, because this pathology (if it is spasticity –
read on to find out what it is) can be fatal for the baby in the future
Causes of muscle tension
There are many potential reasons for the increase in muscle tone in infants. One of the most common
The root cause is teething as the process of cutting teeth can be painful and lead to the condition
inflammatory. Other causes may include ear infections, colds, or the flu. The problems
Gastrointestinal problems such as colic or constipation can also lead to muscle tension. In
in some cases, increased muscle tension may be caused by a more serious condition,
such as meningitis or sepsis. Diseases should not be forgotten
neurological disorders such as MPD, where muscle hypertonia is characteristic
for a given individual, what the infant or child has to face for the rest of his life. Parent should
know that thanks to physical therapy, the comfort of life in a child with MPD depends on regular therapy during
ADL and IADL (Basic and Complex Daily Routine Activities) will be important to the patient.
However, stiffness should not be confused with spasticity. Unlike spasticity, stiffness
is a plastic increase in muscle tension, and the resistance to stretching occurs in jumps or
runs evenly. Stiffness is reversible, while spasticity is unfortunately not –
one can only try to normalize it or learn to control it.
Diagnosing childhood muscle hypertonia
In order to diagnose increased muscle tone in children, it is important to first
understand the symptoms. Symptoms of an increase in muscle tonus that may include or be associated with
it is: irritability, difficulty sleeping, feeling unwell, tenderness, pain (sometimes excruciating),
difficulty with basic movement (in the elderly, pathological gait, presence of defects
attitudes). If your infant or child is showing any of these symptoms, it’s important to check
consult a doctor. The doctor will likely perform a physical examination and ask about
your child’s medical history. He may also order tests such as a blood test or an MRI to get you
exclude other disease entities, including neurological ones. Streamline the case properly
the diagnosed baby includes physiotherapy in the form of massage, exercises and individual methods
individually selected for the child, in addition, it will include the drug therapy prescribed by
doctor – drugs that reduce muscle spasticity. It is important to prior to starting therapy with the patient
speak to your child’s pediatrician so they can provide guidance and help with development
the plan that best suits you and your baby. Remember any pathology that arouses
your infant concerns should be consulted with a specialist!
Best Infant / Child Handling Cramps or Hypertonia
1. If your baby is crying and seems to be in pain, try gently massaging the affected baby
2. You can also try to apply the elements of hydrotherapy – a warm bath that is the case
momentary contraction should help the body to relax the muscle.
3. If necessary, as a last resort use an analgesic, which is available without
prescriptions, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen
4. Make sure you follow dosing instructions carefully as they are administering too much
the amount of medication can be dangerous.
5. If the contraction or increased muscle tension persists or the infant’s condition is evident
worsens, see your child’s doctor.
6. One of the most common causes of increased muscle tension in an infant is lack of change
positions along with the positioning uncomfortable for the infant for a long time, which may be limiting
blood flow and nutrients to the spine and vital requiring tissues
adequate blood supply
7. To combat the problem, place a rolled up towel under the child’s back or head so that it does not have to lie down
lying flat on the back for a long time and depending on how long the infant has been lying in
a particular position, there should be a change of arrangement without a towel on the right and left sides, a
finally on the stomach, repeat the sequence (it is important to constantly supply mechanoreceptors
stimuli that later generate and transmit the nerve impulse). Remember through different poses
you shape and develop a child’s superficial and deep feeling! If the infant is able to change position on its own, the parent should only control and pay attention to the positioning from time to time
limbs and head, because it will be able to arrange itself properly depending on his
8. Avoid placing blankets on it if possible as they can restrict movement and
make it difficult for him to breathe.
9. Instead, opt for a thin fabric like cotton with wide armholes,
which will give him greater freedom of movement without restricting his breathing ability when he lies down
on his back or roll over onto his stomach.