What is hypertonia?
Hypertonia is a condition in which there is an excessive amount of activity (muscle tone) in a muscle when a person does not intend to move it. Hypertonia is the opposite of hypotonia, which means too little muscle tone. However, it is important to note that some individuals may be affected by both issues.
The amount of tone in a muscle is controlled by signals from the brain that tell it when to contract. These signaling pathways sometimes function improperly in people who have neurodevelopmental disabilities like cerebral palsy (CP), who have had a brain injury or stroke, been exposed to neurotoxins, or have a disease like multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s, or brain cancer. Among other problems, hypertonia can cause stiffness, problems with balance, and spastic reflexes.
How Is Hypertonia Related to Cerebral Palsy?
People with cerebral palsy may have both hypertonia and hypotonia. In some cases, such as athetoid/dyskinetic cerebral palsy, muscle tone can frequently fluctuate between the two. The most common type of cerebral palsy is spastic CP. Spasticity is an outcome of hypertonia. People with spastic CP have velocity-dependent resistance to movement. In other words, the faster a joint is straightened, the tighter it feels. Symptoms of spastic CP may also include spasms, pain, and involuntary muscle contractions. In some cases, people also develop issues like early-onset arthritis, joint deformities, and scoliosis.
Treatments for Hypertonia and Spasticity
Spastic cerebral palsy can be treated with muscle-relaxing drugs such as botulinum toxin (botox) or baclofen. Botox is usually used to alleviate the symptoms of hypertonia in a specific area; its effects are localized. Baclofen has a more general effect on the body. It can be taken orally, transdermally, or through a pump that injects it directly into the cerebrospinal fluid. Symptoms can also be improved through physical therapy and occupational therapy.
Legal help for kids with cerebral palsy
If you are seeking legal help for your loved one with hypertonia from cerebral palsy, you need a lawyer and firm that focus solely on birth injury cases. Here at ABC Law Centers (Reiter & Walsh, P.C.), our award-winning team of experienced legal, medical, and care-planning professionals has exclusively helped children with birth injuries like cerebral palsy since 1997. We work together to understand the causes of your child’s injuries, the areas of medical negligence, and the long-term care needs of your loved one. Our exclusive focus on birth trauma and birth injury allows our attorneys to extend exceptional legal service to our clients.
If your child was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and hypertonia from medical malpractice, our lawyers can help. We have helped children throughout the country obtain compensation for lifelong treatment, therapy, and a secure future, and we give personal attention to each child and family we represent. Our birth injury firm has numerous multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements that attest to our success, and no fees are ever paid to our firm until we win your case. We are happy to hear your story and answer questions for free, even if you decide not to pursue a case with us.
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After the traumatic birth of my son, I was left confused, afraid, and seeking answers. We needed someone we could trust and depend on. ABC Law Centers was just that.