What are the Symptoms of Hypotonia?

Updated at: Nov 13, 2014
What are the Symptoms of Hypotonia?

Symptoms of hypotonia in infants include floppy appearance, little control over the head and limpness. Adults suffering hypotonia may experience flexibility in hips, elbows and knees.

Vasudha Bhat
Other DiseasesWritten by: Vasudha BhatPublished at: Nov 13, 2014

What is Hypotonia?

A medical term to describe a decrease in muscle tone is called hypotonia. Even when the muscles are relaxed, they have a very small amount of contraction which provides them their springy feel and gives them resistance to passive movement. Although hypotonia is different from muscle weakness, the two conditions can co-exist.

Hypotonia occurs when there is damage to the brain, spinal cord, nerves or muscles. Sometimes the cause hypotonia may not be known. Symptoms of Hypotonia

Hypotonia Symptoms

Symptoms of Hypotonia

When the condition occurs in infants, they have a floppy quality appearance as their arms and legs hang by their sides and they have very little or no control over their head. Other symptoms of hypotonia include mobility problems, breathing and speech difficulties, ligament and joint laxity and poor reflexes.

Other signs and symptoms of hypotonia include:

  • Infants feeling limp as if they could slip through the hands
  • Inability to place weight on leg or shoulder muscles
  • Arms and legs hang straight from the sides. No bending on the elbows, hips and knees
  • Difficulty in swallowing or sucking
  • Having a weak cry

Hypotonia Symptoms

Children suffering from hypotonia are unable to reach their developmental milestones, like sitting up, crawling, walking, talking and feeding themselves.

When an adult suffers from hypotonia they usually experience the following symptoms:

  • Clumsiness and falling frequently
  • Difficulty with getting up from lying or sitting position
  • High flexibility in hips, elbows and knees
  • Difficulty reaching for or lifting objects

Image courtesy: Getty Images

Read more on Hypotonia Signs and Symptoms.


All possible measures have been taken to ensure accuracy, reliability, timeliness and authenticity of the information; however Onlymyhealth.com does not take any liability for the same. Using any information provided by the website is solely at the viewers’ discretion. In case of any medical exigencies/ persistent health issues, we advise you to seek a qualified medical practitioner before putting to use any advice/tips given by our team or any third party in form of answers/comments on the above mentioned website.

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK