Childrens Podiatry | Hypotonia: is your child looking “floppy”?
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Hypotonia: is your child looking “floppy”?

02 May 2022 Hypotonia: is your child looking “floppy”?

What is Hypotonia?

Muscle tone allows the body to be held upright & stand. Whenever we move, it causes a change in muscle tone to produce whatever position you move into. The “tone” of our muscle is the amount of tension, or resistance, within our muscles. If someone does not have enough resistance in their muscle, they would be classified as having low tone, or hypotonia.

This condition means that muscles will appear floppy and weak rather than strong. It also means that more energy is required to move and stand upright. Maintaining good posture is an issue for people with hypotonia whether they are sitting, walking or standing still. 

The lack of strength means that the development of gross motor skills, such as rolling, sitting & walking, can become delayed due to the extra energy needed to perform these movements.

What are the signs of Hypotonia?

  • Child is “limp” when lifted
  • Babies can look like ragdolls when being held
  • Dislocation of the jaw, hip or even the neck.
  • Difficulty breathing and speaking
  • Increased flexibility in joints
  • Poor posture
  • Lower endurance
  • Lack of muscle strength
  • Delayed gross motor skills

How is it diagnosed & treated?

Typically, Hypotonia is diagnosed at your community health clinic in the first weeks of your baby’s life. If your clinician has any concern about the muscle tone in your child, you may be referred to a doctor for further assessment.

Other underlying conditions can make Hypotonia more prominent, such as Cerebral Palsy and Muscular Dystrophy.

Treatment options may include:

  • Physical therapy to improve motor skills
  • Speech therapy
  • Sensory stimulation

Your healthcare professional may request that you involve a Podiatrist in your child’s care to ensure a holistic approach to their healthcare. Need an appointment? Book in with our friendly team today!