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

 

How to talk about your pregnancy at work

The workplace isn't always a friendly place for pregnant women. Yet working women inclined to conceal a pregnancy from prying coworkers may be better off opening up and carrying on, according to a new study.

Tell us your story to win!

To celebrate Mother's Day this year we are giving you the chance to win one of five great prizes simply by telling us your story.

Where to get help to help your baby sleep

There is so much pressure about having a baby who sleeps 'all night' , it's no wonder you worry about your baby if she wakes in the night.

Vintage baby names having a comeback

What makes some names have comebacks while others silently fade into oblivion? A few factors come into play.

When your partner doesn't want you to breastfeed

Dads can have many reasons for not wanting their partners to breastfeed their baby, but both parents should learn more about it before making a final decision.

Model mum Sarah Stage shares post-baby selfie

Most new mums would recoil at the thought, but Sarah Stage has shared a post-pregnancy selfie just four days after giving birth.

I'll admit it: I have last child parenting fatigue

If you're a new mum and feeling ignored by the older mum/the old hand/the has-been, please know, it's not you, it's me. Blame the last child parenting fatigue.

Exhaustion is not the same as tiredness

Having a new baby isn't tiring - it can be downright exhausting.

Five posterior babies, four home births

I was on a high. I'd done it all by myself with no help from anyone.

Mum's list of birthday gift demands goes viral

We're big fans of kids' birthday parties - but this is one bash we're glad we didn't get an invite to.

Kate Middleton to receive 'loyalty discount' for second birth

Everybody loves a bargain - including the Duchess of Cambridge.

Fish & chip shop owner's sad note goes viral

A lengthy note put on the window of a fish & chip shop has gone viral due to the writer's serious doubts about the romance of travel.

Pregnant women need good nutrition advice, not judgment

Pregnant women are under pressure to do all the "right things" to have a healthy child. It results in women feeling judged about their decisions.

When your child wants you to have another baby

Giving your child a sibling when you don't want to have another baby can be a complex issue.

William Tyrrell's mum speaks out: 'We hope he is still alive'

The mother of missing toddler William Tyrrell says she has a vision that somebody "picked him up and moved him on ... that's the only way ... to explain for him not to be there".

Family comes first for 23-year-old Tommy Connolly

Most 23-year-old blokes spend their hard earned cash on fun times with mates or romantic dinners with their girlfriend, but not Tommy Connolly.

Newborn all-girl quintuplets 'doing great'

The first all-female quintuplets born in the United States were delivered last week, at 28 weeks and two days.

Model mum's big baby silences critics

He may be less than a week old, but baby James Hunter has already helped his model mum silence her critics.

Jammy, Hula Hoop, Rage: Reddit reveals most unusual baby names

A recent Reddit thread has revealed some of the more creative names in the world.

Woman awakens from coma, learns she gave birth

A US woman awakened this week from a four-month-long coma that doctors had feared would be permanent and learned that she had given birth to a baby boy, according to her family.

'Give us a break': mum sent shocking letter over Facebook baby pics

Posting a lot of baby photos doesn't make you a bad person. It may make your Facebook feed a little irritating, but it doesn't make you a bad person.

In defense of the dads who do so much

It's time to shift the focus off what dads aren’t doing and shine it on what they are.

The modern cloth nappies too cute to cover up

If you're only just joining the modern cloth nappy movement, or would like to spruce up your collection, we have to introduce you to Designer Bums.

How breastfeeding can affect your libido

When you’ve just had a baby, having sex isn’t usually top priority. In fact, for a lot of women it rates about as appealing as changing another dirty nappy.

Should pregnant women be allowed to use 'parent and child' car parking spots?

Is it acceptable to use these car parking spots when pregnant? How many of us would admit to doing it?

Healthy baby from sperm taken 48 hours after a man died

Fertility doctors have described their "most extraordinary case" - creating a healthy baby from sperm taken 48 hours after a man had died.

Sign up to our 30 days of #PlayIQ challenge

Sign up to receive 30 amazing tips and ideas for play with baby during the month of April and submit a picture or tip on our social wall for a chance to win an amazing Fisher-Price prize pack.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Last chance to win a year's supply of toys

You have less than a week left to win your child one of five Fisher-Price toy packs valued at over $600 each - hurry, enter today!

Childcare is a big problem, but there's more to it

Let’s keep talking about these issues and not allow them to be put into a neat little box that’s labelled ‘Fix childcare and everything is solved’.

Pink's awesome response to body-shaming trolls

When trolls felt the need to comment on 35-year-old singer-songwriter Pink's weight, her answer was an awesome ode to body love.

Fertility clinic offers egg donors $5000

A national chain of fertility clinics is offering egg donors a $5000 payment to cover their expenses, a first for Australia which is raising concerns the money could act as an inducement.

Baby boy abandoned in India amid fresh surrogacy concerns

Australian officials could do nothing to stop an Australian couple from abandoning their baby son, born through surrogacy in India, after they decided they did not want to bring him to Australia.

Herd immunity and community responsibility: how free-riders can make kids suffer

Individual choice works for haircuts and handbags, but not for preventing infectious diseases that kill kids.

Photographer captures 'unexpected beauty' of birth

If there is one thing Leilani Rogers knows about childbirth, it is that no two deliveries are ever the same.

Expectations vs the reality of making a toddler's clothes

Note to self: less sewing, more life. Not the party dress, but the party. The toddler, as usual, has it all figured out.

Mum meets 'dead' daughter 49 years after birth

In 1965, Zella Jackson-Price was told her premature baby girl had died shortly after birth.

How pregnancy probiotics can help you and your baby

New research suggests that taking specific pregnancy probiotics could be the answer to a range of common pregnancy side effects.

53 creative pregnancy announcements

Announcing that you're expecting can be a time to express your creativity, sense of humour and imagination. Check out how other parents and parents-to-be have broken the news to friends and family.

IKEA hacks for the nursery and kids' rooms

Are you one of those that know the whole IKEA catalogue by heart? Love their stuff but want to personalise it? Here's some inspiration to help you realise the potential of IKEA furniture and fittings.

36 baby names inspired by food and drinks

A French court may have ruled out Nutella as a baby name, but that doesn't have to stop you from taking inspiration from the supermarket (or bottle shop). See what parents in the US have chosen for their delicious little ones.

 

ENTER NOW!

Win a year's worth of toys

Last week to submit a picture of your baby at play for your chance to win. Visit the Play Wall to view our recent entries.

 
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.