baby with stiff legs

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Myranda - posted on 06/03/2013

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I have a 5month old daughter who has recently at 4 months started keeping her legs stiff and keeping hands closed, she doesn't want to put pressure on her feet and keeps her toes straight out too, I set up a doctors appt for this Wednesday to find out what's wrong your post related to jeweliana thank you

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Katherine - posted on 05/06/2012

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What you may notice

If your child seems stiff or rigid, he may have what's described as high muscle tone (hypertonia), which means that his muscles are chronically contracted.

You may notice that your child holds his hands in tight fists or that he seems unable to relax certain muscles. He may have trouble letting go of an object, for example, or difficulty moving from one position to another. And his legs might cross (like scissors) when you pick him up.
What causes it

Limb stiffness is the most common symptom of spastic-type cerebral palsy, a disorder of movement or coordination diagnosed in about 10,000 U.S. children each year.

In spastic cerebral palsy, a brain abnormality sends signals to the body that overactivate certain muscle groups. It can sometimes be tied to specific causes, such as prematurity, but in many instances the cause of the brain abnormality is unclear.

About half of affected children have a serious form of cerebral palsy, which means they'll need a brace, walker, or wheelchair to get around. Others have a milder form. Some have other developmental disabilities, such as mental retardation or a visual or hearing impairment.
What your doctor may recommend

The most common treatment for cerebral palsy is physical therapy, which loosens and stretches the tight, overactive muscles and guides the child to acquire motor skills and perform functional tasks in a more efficient manner, says physical therapist Gay Girolami.

"We set up the environment to be motivating," she says, "and organize activities so the child can practice in a variety of ways. A child will straighten his elbow by reaching over his head to throw a ball. He'll also do it if he's playing wheelbarrows on the floor."

Massage and yoga can both improve muscle length and flexibility, says Girolami.

Botulinum toxin (commonly known by the brand name Botox), which temporarily paralyzes muscles, can also be helpful. It's used in children as young as 18 months.

The toxin is injected directly into a child's muscle, such as a hamstring. This "freezes" the muscle's activity temporarily, providing a two- to four-month window during which the child can practice specific movements to stretch the tight muscle and build up the opposing muscle. Creating balance between the two opposing muscle groups supports rather than restricts function.

"Botox is a relatively new and promising medical treatment," says Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Schneider Children's Hospital in New York. "Clinicians are just now better understanding how it can be used for maximal benefit in children with cerebral palsy."

Muscle relaxants may be prescribed for adults with cerebral palsy, but they're rarely used in toddlers because they cause drowsiness.



Now this is only suggestions. How old is your baby and how long has this been going on? Have you taken him/her to the doctor?

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