Medical Definition of Hypertonia

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Hypertonia: Increased tightness of muscle tone and reduced capacity of the muscle to stretch caused by damage to the motor nerve pathways in the central nervous system. Untreated hypertonia can lead to loss of function and deformity. Treatment can include physical and/or occupational therapy or medications. Injections of botulism toxin (botox) are sometimes used in the treatment for chronic hypertonia in cerebral palsy and other disorders. Also known as spasticity.

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Reviewed on 12/12/2018

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