Infant Muscle Rigidity and Stiffness as Birth Disorder Symptoms

Dealing with CP

Rigidity in the muscles or limpness may indicate that your child has developed cerebral palsy. This neurological disorder will affect certain muscle groups, and as a result, your child may experience trouble moving their body. Unfortunately, there are cases where children have had muscles so stiff that they cannot walk. In some cases, doctors have chosen to use Botox as a treatment option. It should be emphasized that medical professionals try to manage the condition, but there is no definite cure for this condition. The involuntary muscle spasms may be with your child for the rest of their life. If your child suffered from cerebral palsy at birth, you may be entitled to financial support.


Infant muscle rigidity and stiffness could be an indication that your child has a condition known as hypertonia. This happens especially if your child has excessive muscle tone in their legs and arms. As a result, their muscles will be stiff. Sometimes this condition happens as a result of a birth injury. It can also happen due to infant stroke or a basal ganglia disorder.

Klumpke’s Palsy

Even worse than Erb’s Palsy, Klumpke’s Palsy happens as a result of an injury to the brachial plexus nerves. These nerves are located at the neck, shoulder, and collarbone. When these nerves get pulled, disrupted, or moved, it can damage them in a way that means they can no longer communicate correctly with the body. As a result, your baby may have stiff muscles. Many infants with this condition are not able to move their arms.


Considered a rare form of brain damage, Kernicterus is a serious health condition. It happens when the bilirubin in the bloodstream reaches an unhealthy level. As a result, jaundice occurs. Jaundice is a common health condition in babies. When an infant’s bilirubin levels become too high, however, it can cause muscle rigidity and stiffness. It is important to address this problem as soon as it arises.

You should remember that with any of these conditions,  a qualified healthcare professional is required to adequately evaluate and diagnose your child.  Never try to self diagnose. If you notice that your child is experiencing stiffness in the muscles, it is important to call your child’s doctor immediately to discuss potential causes and management options.  There are cases where it will be something minor, but you want to make sure that it is something that will pass.