A Reason for Low Muscle Tone In Kids

When it comes to low muscle tone there’s a lot of different reasons why this can occur. There can be many different genetic disorders that can play into it. Different medications can also create this in early life, but what I am going to talk about is a developmental reason why!

In many cases a developmental reflex called a tonic labyrinthine reflex is the culprit. This developmental reflex arises in infancy to help the child to develop head control along with a way to control their body against gravity. This reflex should go away around 3 1/2 years of life once it gets fully developed.


In the early years of life when a child still has this reflex it helps them to develop appropriate muscle tone. When the child tips their head back they reflexively activate all the muscles in their back and in the back of her legs. And when they flex their head or bring their head down all of the muscles in the front of their body activate. This reflexive activation overtime create strength their core musculature. Without proper integration and function of this reflex you do not develop good core stability or good stability of your extremity joints. This lack of stability and muscular development is often recognized as low muscle tone.


Signs that your child has low muscle tone are: 

  1. Poor posture
  2. Toes that point in or pigeon toed when walking
  3. A forward head posture
  4. Excess mobility and extremity joints.

There’s a couple simple ways to test to see if your child has this reflex, follow the instructions In this video. 


Learn more about the Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex and low muscle tone with this video:
https://vimeo.com/395261722

With remediation of this reflex I find in clinical practice that muscle tone improves dramatically If there’s no genetic disorder present. This reflex also plays into balance,. coordination, visual perception, stability of your body, and many kids still have this have a fear of heights.
Check out this reflex on your child if they have it let us know and we can put together a specific developmental plan for them.

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