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  • Writer's pictureHeather Gibson PT

Hyoptonia and Physiotherapy

What is hypotonia and how can it be treated? Hypotonia is a decrease in resistance a muscle gives in response to stretch. Babies can appear "floppy" or have a "slip through" feeling when picked up. Sometimes hypotonia is associated with other conditions or diseases but often it is just part of a child's genetic make up. It may become most apparent as a child goes through their developmental milestones at an early age. They may be delayed because movement is a little harder. Some signs of hypotonia are:

1. baby appears floppy when picked up as if they might slip through your hands

2. difficulty holding their head up or delay in head control

3. difficulty in feeding, sucking or swallowing

4. a resistance to put weight through their legs to stand or through their shoulders (crawling)

Physiotherapy can help. Physiotherapy will often help strengthen a child's muscles so activities can be performed easier. If the condition is non progressive, children often improve over time with physiotherapy as they strengthen their muscles. Muscle strength tends to compensate for low muscle tone.

Please contact me if you think your baby has hypotonia or may be delayed in some of their milestones. Early intervention is best as babies learn faster in the early stages.

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