The medical name for hypotonia refers to the condition used to describe muscles that are not in good condition. Doctors usually detect this in infants. Some call it Floppy Muscle Syndrome.

Typically, even in a state of relaxation, muscles will have certain contractions that provide resistance to passive movements. Hypotonia, however, makes muscles appear floppy since they don’t have a lot of muscle tension when they are at rest.

Hypotonia is a sign of numerous trusted Source diverse disorders. It isn’t (Trusted Source) an indication of insufficient intelligence. It’s not caused by muscle weakness, usually present from birth.

It is generally easier for doctors to detect hypotonia than to pinpoint the root cause.

This article focuses on the signs and causes of hypotonia and the causes. It also examines how doctors identify and treat hypotonia and whether it is possible to prevent the condition.

The Signs as well as Symptoms

The majority of people suffering from hypotonia show symptoms before six months old, according to Trusted Source. The most commonly reported symptoms are the absence or lack of muscular tone.

Muscle tone allows people to place their legs and arms straight and comfortably and ensure that their organs function efficiently. However, a lack of muscle tone impacts all of these activities.

Hypotonia is often referred to as “floppy infant syndrome.”

Other signs of hypotonia could be:

  • Trouble keeping the head straight
  • Problems with sitting up
  • Floating in someone’s arms
  • Inability to place the weight of the legs
  • Difficult swallowing or sucking
  • The inability to cry loudly
  • There are delays in developing physical milestones, including walking, crawling, speaking, self-feeding, and crawling.

Hypotonia-Related Causes

Issues with the muscular or nervous system can cause hypotonia. Sometimes, it’s due to an illness, injury, or inherited condition. In other instances, the cause isn’t identified.

Certain children have hypotonia which isn’t connected to a separate disease, referred to as benign congenital hypotonia.

Physical, occupational, as well as speech therapies can aid your child to get stronger and maintain the development of their child.

Certain children who suffer from benign congenital hypotonia may experience small developmental slowdowns or learning difficulties. The disabilities can last throughout the ages of childhood.

Hypotonia is often caused by disorders affecting the brain, central nervous system, or muscles. These can be caused by the following:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Brain damage to the brain is due to a lack of oxygen in the womb.
  • Muscular dystrophy

In many cases, chronic illnesses require ongoing treatment and care.

Hypotonia may result from genetic issues. These comprise:

  • Down syndrome
  • Prader-Willi syndrome
  • Tay-Sachs Disease
  • Trisomy 13

Children who have Down syndrome or Prader-Willi syndrome typically receive therapy. Usually, children who suffer from Tay-Sachs disease and trisomy 13 have shorter lives.

Sometimes, hypotonia is caused by botulism infection or exposure to toxic substances or poisons. But, hypotonia usually disappears after recovery.


A full and thorough medical history and thorough physical exam are essential steps to determine hypotonia, especially for infants.

A medical history could include questions about the following:

  • The development history of the child as well as the parents of the child.
  • Hypotonia in the family or genetic disorders
  • The mother’s exposure to toxic substances, as well as infections during the pregnancy
  • The onset and progress of hypotonia

A doctor should conduct a physical exam for hypotonia.

  • seeking out signs of congenital anomalies
  • Tests to measure muscle tone
  • Examining muscle strength and the reflexes of muscles

Additional tests or screenings that doctors employ to identify hypotonia-related causes that could be causing it is:

  • Culling blood, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid
  • Blood tests
  • Testing for metabolic disorders.
  • MRIs or CT scans to study the brain.

If tests and screenings don’t yield positive results, physicians may be able to diagnose children suffering from benign congenital hypotonia or BCH. This hypotonia tends not to progress and improves after treatment and can be found in families.

Treatment of Hypotonia


Treatment is based on how your child’s condition. Your child’s overall health and ability to engage in therapy determine the treatment strategy. Certain children are often in contact with physical therapy.

Based on your child’s abilities, they can work towards certain goals, such as standing straight, walking, or participating in sports. In certain situations, your child may require assistance with coordination or other fine motor abilities.

Children with serious conditions might require wheelchairs to move. Due to this condition, which makes joints quite loose, it’s normal to suffer dislocated joints. Casts and braces can help in preventing and repair injuries.

What Can I Do to Reduce My Chance of Having a Child Diagnosed with Hypotonia?

There’s no method to stop hypotonia since it’s usually the sign of an underlying disorder that could be genetic. Genetic diseases aren’t avoidable. If you are planning to become pregnant and would like to know the possibility of having a child with a genetic disorder, talk with your doctor regarding genetic tests.

If you’re expecting and you want to take the necessary steps to stop the birth of your child prematurely through:

  • Be sure to follow the guidance of your doctor on suggested actions during pregnancy.
  • Refrain from smoking and consuming recreational substances.
  • A balanced diet is essential.
  • Be sure to take care of yourself and treat any health issues that might influence the outcomes during your pregnancies.

What is the Difference Between Hypotonia in Infants And Adults?

Adults and babies alike are susceptible to a diagnosis of hypotonia. Infants who receive a diagnosis of hypotonia will keep the diagnosis throughout their existence, even if their symptoms improve. Adults with new hypotonia diagnoses may result from a traumatizing injury, brain tumor stroke, or a condition such as Parkinson’s disease.

These symptoms can be the same for infants and adults who are clumsy. Struggle to get up from lying or sitting down and exhibit increased flexibility in their knees and elbows.

Treatment of physical and occupational therapy, as well as treatment of the condition that is causing it, aids in helping conditions for babies and adults improve with time.


In the 2021 study 2021, the researchers found hypotonia could be an early sign of Autism spectrum disorders (ASD). They described hypotonia as a “red flag” for ASD as most children diagnosed with autism also have other developmental-related diagnoses, such as poor muscle tone.

Identifying hypotonia as a sign of ASD could result in early evaluation, earlier diagnosis of autism, and early intervention. Researchers have found that males in their teens with hypotonia were identified with ASD 1.5 years before and females of a younger age one year earlier than those with ASD without hypotonia.

When is the Best Time to Visit the Doctor?

Hypotonia can be detected at the time of birth. Sometimes, it is possible only to be aware of your child’s condition once they’ve grown older. This a sign that your child’s development isn’t reaching milestones.

Make regularly scheduled appointment times with your kid to see an experienced doctor. Make sure you mention any concerns about your child’s health.

Your doctor will evaluate your child’s growth and conduct tests in case they are concerned. Tests can comprise the testing of blood as well as CT and MRI scans.

Get urgent medical attention if you see sudden signs of the disease for anyone at any age.


It is difficult to stop hypotonia, as underlying genetic conditions often cause it.

Parents who wish to have children should talk with a healthcare specialist to give birth safely to avoid labor complications and birth injuries that could cause hypotonia.

In the course of pregnancy, one can safeguard your health and that of the baby by:

  • Follow the doctor’s recommendations to ensure an uninvolved pregnancy
  • Avoiding tobacco, drugs, and alcohol
  • eating healthy and a balanced diet
  • Taking care of any health condition which could impact the baby


The outcome for someone who suffers from hypotonia varies based on the root cause. For many who suffer from hypotonia, it is a long-lasting condition. However, it could get better over time.

Infants suffering from infantile botulism typically recover from the condition Trusted Source. When it is a case of sepsis that is causing hypotonia, then treating the condition will alleviate symptoms. Certain causes, like Pompe disease, could cause death.

With the help of different experts, rehabilitation services, nutrition support, rehabilitation, and home care, an individual’s perspective can change and lead to better outcomes.


Hypotonia can be described as a medical term that refers to the lack of muscle tone. People with hypotonia typically show symptoms before the age of six months. However, adults may also be affected. Different factors can lead to hypotonia, ranging from genetic issues to infections.

Hypotonia is a long-lasting condition that can last for a lifetime. The future of someone who suffers from hypotonia will depend on the cause that causes muscle weakness for the person.

The treatment and occupational and physical therapy may aid in improving muscle tone for those suffering from hypotonia.


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