Increased muscle tone
Increased muscle tone in an infant may be the norm for a given age, but may also indicate a pathology of the nervous system. How to identify the signs of hypertension and how to overcome it, told us the children’s neurologist of the Medical Network Victoria Sharaevskaya.
Muscular hypertonus is a restriction of the spontaneous voluntary motor activity of the child, while the resistance to passive movements in the handles and / or legs increases. Hypertonus can be common (whole body), limited (hand and leg), as well as hypertension only of the hands or only the legs.
Norm or pathology?
It is believed that the change in muscle tone in the baby is associated with neurological problems. However, this is not always the case. Signs of hypertonia may be the norm for a particular age or specific condition of the child. For example, at the time of the examination the child may be hungry, cold or he cries because of intestinal colic, etc.
It is important to know that a child under 3 months old has a physiological hypertonic muscle flexor. This is due to the fact that in the abdomen of the mother, the child is in the embryo position: the legs are bent at the knees, slightly apart and pressed to the stomach, and the handles are bent and pressed to the chest, the hands are clenched into the fists. After a birth within a month the child continues to support this pose. If the hypertonus is within normal limits, then the muscles should not be too strained. If desired, it is always possible to easily unbend limbs, unclench cams. After 3 months, the tone gradually begins to decrease and comes to the norm state, when both flexors and extensors work in the same way. This all happens until about the 6th month.
Thus, muscle hypertonicity is not an independent disease, but a symptom. But he can testify not only about the norm for a given age, but also about the pathology of the nervous system.
Causes of pathological hypertension:
- hypoxia (oxygen starvation);
- birth injury;
- exposure to toxic, infectious factors in the prenatal phase, during labor or in the early postpartum period.
Than is dangerous hypertonus?
Pathological muscle hypertonicity can adversely affect the pace of motor development. At the same time there is an incorrect formation of motor skills. It is possible that at an older age orthopedic problems will arise: a violation of posture, gait. In addition, hypertension may be a symptom of quite severe neurological problems, such as cerebral palsy, cerebral anomalies, metabolic diseases, etc.
Signs of hypertension
To suspect a hypertonus it is possible still on the first month, but precisely to define, normal he or pathological, the doctor (the pediatrist, the neurologist) can only. He must compare it with the level of motor development, the data of the neurological status, and, if necessary, with the data of neurosonography (ultrasound of the brain). He will also determine the tactics of running a particular child.
What should alert parents and become a reason to call a doctor?
- When the child lies, his body curves in the form of an arc;
- The head is always tilted to one shoulder and (or) rotated in one direction;
- A child under the age of 1 month is “good” holding his head. This is a sign of increased tonus in the occipital muscles;
- The child after 3 months old are always compressed hands into the fists and pressed to the body. He does not open the brush to grab the toy;
- The child does roll over only through one side;
- When the child begins to stand on the legs, he does not lean on the whole leg, only on the toe or on the outside of the foot. He can cross his legs.
If you observe any of the above symptoms in your child, then when examining the pediatrician you need to tell him about your suspicions. In case the pediatrist does ascertain the pathological muscle hypertonia, he can insist on the necessity of consulting a neurologist. If your six-month-old child has hypertension of the muscles, consult a pediatric neurologist.
How to solve with hypertension
To with elements of physiotherapy, swimming, gymnastics, physiotherapy, and medical therapy if necessary.
In the treatment, the main task of the doctor is to determine what volume and type of care is needed for a specific child, and to make the right appointments. The task of the mother is to fulfill the instructions of the specialist. Mom can independently carry out with the child gymnastics on a ball and to float, but only after corresponding instructing. Only the general work – doctor, masseur and parents – leads to good results.
What cannot to do at hypertension
- When swimming, dive;
- Conduct dynamic gymnastics, as it has a tonic effect;
- Performing charging, to perform passive movements in pens and legs “through force”.