Being parents is the best feeling in the world. It feels amazing when your child falls asleep quickly or clings to you, right? Your kid can move more easily when they feel lighter. But when your little one struggles to stand up after sitting for hours, your child is probably experiencing Hypotonia i.e. low muscle tone, leading to heaviness and inertia.
But there’s nothing to worry about! Miracles can happen with effective paediatric physical therapy. Your child can feel better and move better while they can do the same activities, such as walking, sitting without support or rolling over, like other children of their age.
In today’s blog, we have shared a brief idea of Hypotonia (low muscle tone) and how physical therapy for kids can improve it. Let’s get started!
What Is Hypotonia (Low Muscle Tone)?
Hypotonia- This medical term refers to low or decreased muscle tone. Generally, relaxed muscles have little tension or contraction, leading to a springy feel that resists one from moving. But Hypotonia reduces the resting muscle tension. Children who experience it can even feel flabby and soft, depending on its severity. That’s why kids with Hypotonia try to keep themselves up against gravity.
To ensure that your child is dealing with Hypotonia, you can look for the following signs:
- You feel like your child would slip away while carrying them e.g. your kid feels limp
- Open, rounded and slouched mouth posture
- Bend or sit with support
- Hypermobile joints
- Experience difficulties with swallowing or sucking
- Challenges with fine motor skills, such as colouring or writing and much more
Challenges Children with Hypotonia Experience
If you find out the signs of Hypotonia (Low Muscle Tone) mentioned above in your child, the chances are he or she is facing other challenges as well. For instance:
Feeding and Breathing:
Research shows that hypotonic children have limited respiratory bases for motor activities since they have low rib mobility and oblique muscles. Their breaths are frequent and shallow and depend on diaphragm actions for thoracic expansion more than the trunk muscles. Also, during speech or feeding, their performance can be less than other kids.
Posture and Movements:
Children with Hypotonia may face difficulties with muscle activities and generating and holding force for longer against gravity. For example, kids who experience low muscle tone aren’t able to create enough force to lift their heads up during tummy time. In this case, the back muscles and tummy don’t work together.
Again, they face challenges breathing in a prone position using the belly, while preferring to sit in a frogged leg position since it helps them form a large base without using their trunk core muscles to stay upright.
Fine Motor and Sensory Experience:
A child dealing with Hypotonia has a different kind of perceptual experience than other developing children due to their low efficacy of sensory perception when they are trying to move. That’s why they have little experience with weight shifting, crawling or creeping, leading to less preparation to perform fine motor actions, such as writing, feeding or dressing.
How Can Physical Therapy for Kids Help Children with Hypotonia?
Now, if your child has a Hypotonia experience and faces the same challenges, what’s the solution?
It’s paediatric physical therapy! Here, with the help of a physical therapist, your kid can improve movements, for example, crawling and walking, while strengthening motor skills, and meeting their day-to-day activities. In fact, there are more changes you can notice in your little one after physical therapy. Such as:
- Your child can sit for long hours with pushed-back shoulders
- More flow and control with movements and positions
- Improved joint stability and body stiffness
- Better handwriting and grip on pencils
- Improved force production, like holding a bottle or kicking a ball
- Comfortable with different sitting and static positions, such as side sitting, kneeling, standing, crossed-leg sitting and much more
- Longer and deeper breaths while louder voice
- Feeling light while carried
Besides, you can keep your child active at home for better and faster results. For example:
- Animal walks
- Planking with hands on a ball
- Crawling and squatting
- Pulling and pushing actions
- Messy play with paint and more
We hope this guide will be helpful in understanding Hypotonia, its symptoms, challenges and the impacts of physical therapy. The best thing you can do is consult a professional physical therapist in Dubai to improve your child’s symptoms of Hypotonia (Low Muscle Tone).
Worried about your little one? Don’t be! Hope AMC provides the best paediatric physical therapy in Dubai. We can make miracles with our most effective physical therapy programs. Our physical therapists can help your child improve movements, build strength and strengthen skills to complete their day-to-day activities and ensure proven results. Here are the Pediatric Physiotherapy Programs we follow, including The Cuevas Medek Exercises (CME), Mobility Exercises, Posture Control, Sensory Processing Integration, Spider Cage Therapy and Intensive Suit Therapy.So, do you feel we can help? If yes, book an appointment today with our top paediatric physical therapist team!