Jump to content

Neck hyperextension and trunk arching


  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 jogret

Posted 01 November 2008 - 11:07 AM

Hi Everyone

I thought I would post this as a general thread - I am usually tucked away in the epilepsy thread!

My DS (8 months) has developed a strong neck hyperextension and trunk arching reflex. It seems to vary in severity, some days are worse than others. FOr example, when trying to hold him sitting on my lap, he will arch back violently. When on his tummy, his arms will tend to go behind him rather than forward onto his forearms for weight bearing.

Overall he is making some progress and his OT seems sure that it developed due to combination of prolonged hospital time (lack of tummy time and movement during critical developmental phase), defense mechanism against multiple, invasive procedures, and added obstacle of seizures and meds.  

I of course worry myself sick over it. I have exercises and positions to do every day with him to try and bring his arms forward, to promote trunk stability etc. On a good day he will lie on his tummy with weight through the forearms, but this is not consistent. The same goes with unsupported sitting - on a good day we can get up to 10 secs, on a bad day he throws himself backwards with the strong arching reflex.

I know this is a common trait in children with CP; no-one has mentioned this to me yet but of course it is in the back of my mind.

Has anybody has any experience in this? Did anyone's child also exhibit this behaviour and if so, what exercises/therapies etc did you find uselful? Were you able to overcome it?

#2 Dani

Posted 01 November 2008 - 12:57 PM

My DD was an ex-26 weeker that has recently come back with mild CP (spastic dysphagia) and she used to do that too.

FWIW I had enormous success with this Lamaze toy:

http://www.storkgifts.co.uk/spinandexploregardengym.htm


Yes it states only to be used 0-6 months but can I say when your child is 830gm born they stay pretty small for quite a while. wub.gif  I would just lay her on it and spin her around...ONLY way she would do tummy time.

FWIW down the track she has VERY poor trunk control and took a fair amount of time to get her day TT'd - night  TT'ing is years off I reckon.  Bugger!

#3 SammiT

Posted 01 November 2008 - 02:05 PM

Hi There,

My son has a tendancy to arch in the same way as your DS, your description of your sons movements sounds exactly like my DS.  He was born at 32 weeks and as a result of bacterial meningitis at 3 weeks has what at this stage appears to be hemiplegia CP amongst a few other health issues as well.  It hasn't been officially diagnosed as he is only 13 months and our physio says it is usually diagnosed around 2.  She refers to him as having it though.  DS also used to have seizures until he was about 6 months old and has been on quite a few seizure meds in his time.    

We were told as you have been that this is partly a defense mechanism as he has spent half his life in hospital.  I am glad to say that it appears to be lessening as he gets older though, but is incredibly frustrating watching his development hindered by all these things.  

I used to find that sometimes he would go backwards due to purposeful arching and sometimes it seemed as though he lost balance, say for example if we were carrying him he would all of a sudden get wobbly and it seemed that he would fall if we didn't have a good hold of him IYKWIM.  But he has more control over his body now and can pull himself up better when he starts to tip backwards.  He is not sitting independantly at this stage but he is getting there original.gif  

There are a few things we have been told to do to help him with trunk strength they are: lots of tummy time (DS has missed lots of this due to hospitalisation too); sitting him on your lap say on one knee and allowing him as little support as possible (start with your hands around his chest and as he gets stronger slowly move your hands to a lower position until you can just support around his waist); a Bumbo is good but we find DS can only tolerate about 5 minutes or so before he gets tired; lots of practice sitting on the floor with you supporting and interesting toys in from of him to play with to encourage him to hold his head up etc.

When we aren't in hospital we also do Hydrotherapy (physio in water) which has been amazing!

We have one of the spin gyms that Dani mentioned which Cadel has outgrown, he is way too long for it.  If you cover postage I would be happy to send it to you if you are interested biggrin.gif

HTH!

#4 TheSmithFamily

Posted 01 November 2008 - 04:32 PM

hi there,

My son also did this and yes he does have CP.  He did it because he could not control his trunk at all and the tone would just kick in and he would throw himself back.  He now can control it most of the time, but when he is really tired or throwing a big 3 year old tanti he does it....which says to me it's involuntary and it's only less now as he has the cognitive ability to notice when his muscles are becoming severely un-cordinated.

bron

#5 jogret

Posted 02 November 2008 - 07:35 AM

Hi Everyone

Thanks so much for your replies, it's good to read some other experiences.

TheSmithFamily - my DS also does it more when he is tired, or when we are at the Dr's - I think he knows what is coming and the arching kicks in as a defense reflex. Which is always disappointing as he may have been going really well at home, but all the paeds etc see is him madly arching away - they never get to see him when he is relaxed and doing well.

SammiT - it sounds as though we have had some very similar experiences. I do all of the exercises you mentioned although I should sit him on my lap more. I find it disheartening sometimes that when I try, he throws himself around so much.

As I mentioned before, some days are far better than others. On good days he has now started to push right up on both arms when on his tummy, but on bad days the arching and stretching becomes too much of a hindrance, and his arms just fling behind him. On a good day he can sit unsupported for about 5 secs, on a bad day there is not a hope in hell.

We also use the bumbo - I find it especially useful for feeding rather than using the high chair, but he will become quite slumped.

I guess I just find it overall very distressing - like when I try to carry him around on my hip he either slumps right forward or arches and throws himself right back. I feel desperate for his trunk strength to improve and this arching to cease. I read an Occ Therapy article on this reflex and it described it so well, and how it causes all sorts of subsequent development problems such as the ability to reach and grab, which is my DS to a tee.

Dani - thanks for your information and that lamaze mat looks amazing.

SammiT - thats very generous of you to offer to send it - I would love to if that's OK. Do you want to PM me how you would like me to pay you the postage? Thank you so much!!!

#6 SammiT

Posted 02 November 2008 - 07:59 AM

No problems at all, I am more than happy to send it, as I said we no longer use it, in fact it is virtually brand new as Cadel spent so much time in hospital around when it would have been useful.  It is waiting with some things to go to goodwill but I would much rather give it to someone who might get some extra benefits out of it like your little man.  I will go to the post office in the next couple of days and find out the postage, then I'll PM you with some details.  Could you please PM your address so I can find out how much postage will be?  Thanks original.gif




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Share the little things that make you smile

We're giving away a Mountain Buggy nano, the ultimate travel stroller - and here are some of the great entries so far.

Toddler pleads for return of "stolen" nose

A two-year-old's reaction to a game of "got your nose" shows it doesn't take much to make a toddler cry.

The 15 photos new parents share (and five they don't)

From the first scan photo to the baby covered in cake at their first birthday party, there are 15 photos most parents seem to share - and some they don't.

Doctor sings first Happy Birthday to newborns

His job is to deliver babies, but this US obstetrician also has a unique way of celebrating the miracle of life.

Breastfeeding friendly café goes viral

A photo of a breastfeeding-friendly sign in a cafe has been posted to Facebook and shared by hundreds of mums around the world.

First look at the Bugaboo Bee3

The newest Bugaboo Bee ? the Bee3 ? offers a variety of improved features, including a much asked-for bassinet and a rainbow of colour combinations.

Childcare costs, not paid leave, the real issue for parents

Given the choice between maintaining their wage for six months to have a child, or having a reduced rate of pay for a time but a better deal on childcare when returning to work, there are no odds on what most working parents would choose.

Win a Mountain Buggy nano

We?re giving away the new Mountain Buggy Nano - the lightweight travel buggy! So show us the little things that make you smile for your chance to win.

We lost three babies in two years

Our first pregnancy ended the way we all expected it to - with a healthy, happy baby in our arms. What a true blessing he was, for we were not to know the heartache we were about endure.

Family turned back from doomed flight MH17

'There must have been someone watching over us and saying, 'You must not get on that flight,' says mother who narrowly avoided boarding the Malaysian Airlines flight which exploded in mid-air over the Ukraine last night.

The myths and facts about "normal" breastfeeding

When it comes to successful breastfeeding, there is a wide variety to what is "normal", according to new research.

Adorable Skeanie loafers for kids

Your little toddler or preschooler can now get their nautical on with a new range of classic loafers by Australian show brand Skeanie.

My baby is hypermobile

For months, I have been telling myself not to worry that Jasmin isn't crawling or walking. This week I heard the term hypermobile for the first time.

When you don?t bond with your baby

They say that there is no bond greater than the bond between a mother and her child. But for some women, the mother-baby bond takes more time and effort to develop.

Yumi Stynes: Having a baby after a 10-year break

After a long break, Yumi Stynes gets a reminder of the pain - and the pleasure - of giving birth.

Grieving father asks for help to Photoshop his daughter's image

When Nathan Steffel's daughter Sophia died from a liver condition at just 6 weeks old, he reached out for someone to create a beautiful image of his little girl.

Raising kids in a 'low media' home

Can you imagine a life without TV or computers? Some parents are opting for a low-tech, screen-free life for their kids.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Win a Mountain Buggy nano

We?re giving away the new Mountain Buggy Nano - the lightweight travel buggy! So show us the little things that make you smile for your chance to win.

Be careful what you say, your baby is listening

The importance of speaking to your baby even if they are not old enough to answer back has been highlighted by new research.

The beautiful moment a baby was born at the side of a road

It's not where she expected to give birth, but mum Corrine Cinatl is delighted that her daughter's roadside arrival was captured in a series of beautiful photos.

Doctor sings first Happy Birthday to newborns

His job is to deliver babies, but this US obstetrician also has a unique way of celebrating the miracle of life.

The Nappy Collective starts new drive

It's that time of year when the dedicated volunteers at The Nappy Collective do their bit to help out mums and children in need - and they need your help.

Baby shower cake wrecks

From misshapen cake babies to questionable text, from odd colour choices to internal organ recreation, these are the baby shower cakes that taste forgot.

Photographer captures the beauty of adoption

The love of a family is usually tough to capture on camera. This is an exception.

Pregnancy progression photo ideas

Want to record your pregnancy as your belly grows? Here are some creative, fun ideas for photo shoots along the way.

The myths and facts about "normal" breastfeeding

When it comes to successful breastfeeding, there is a wide variety to what is "normal", according to new research.

Tin can craft and DIY ideas

Got a few old formula, Milo or coffee cans around the house? Use these fantastic upcycling ideas to create items for around the house and yard.

Dads meet their newborn for the first time

Emotional photos of two fathers meeting their newborn son have resonated with viewers worldwide, attracting thousands of Facebook likes and shares.

Skin safety isn't just a summer worry

Lax about the slip slop slap with your kids as weather turns cooler? Here's a reminder as to why we have to remain vigilant for our children?s future health.

Personalised baby gifts

We've scoured the internet to find gorgeous personalised keepsakes and nursery decor to record baby name and dates. They make great gifts for christenings, name days and birthdays! (All prices in AU.)

Creative sleeping baby photoshoots

See how some parents and photographers have captured sleeping babies in unusual positions and using different props.

DIY kitchen and food hacks

DIY your way to a better kitchen and make cooking easier with our clever hacks. (Some content reproduced with permission from mashable.com.)

Winter warmers for babies and toddlers

Your baby or toddler will be nice and snug in these beautiful and fun winter pieces. Most are hand-made or knitted, and they're all designed to keep your little one toastie - and adorable!

 

Mind, body, beauty, life

Making time for me

We look at your wellbeing, covering health, relationships, beauty and fashion, mind and body.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.