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Sora
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Fri May 16, 2008 1:32 pm

There's a common association between low muscle tone (hypotonia) and ASDs.

But is there a link between increased muscle tone (hypertonia) and ASDs too?

I'm not sure whether that is hypertonia. I was very rigid as a child. My biggest problem during elementary school probably was that I could only sleep on my back and that I went like I had straight sticks attached to my body. Thank God, some of this extreme rigidity went away due to training and (early) womanly development.

But what is most noticeable right now is that my muscles contract naturally. Even when I lie in bed I don't notice my legs and arms and head are rigid and that the muscles are clenched. I can concentrate and release the muscles involved though. That's good. And I don't mind my fingers or feet clenching, as they do no harm to me.

But I also still have issues that only muscle-releasing drugs successfully resolve. (Which were prescribed to me only once after everyone went worrying mad when I had the feeling of being repeatedly painfully hit.)


Soo... I do know lots about low-muscle tone in autistic people.

But I'm quizzed about high-muscle tone in people with autism?

Anyone know something about it? Maybe someone know lots about increased muscle tone and hypertonia?


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ouinon
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Fri May 16, 2008 1:55 pm

Sorry, can't help on hypertonia, just want to say that's very interesting; I didn't know that hypotonia was linked with ASDs, but that it fits for me cos I have/am hypotonic. Always have been.

Was recently struck by how many of the symptoms of hypothyroid/auto-immune thyroiditis were similar to ASDs, ( and that the latter thyroid condition can swing from hypo to hyper very often/swiftly).

:study:



krex
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Fri May 16, 2008 2:55 pm

Yes, I also have problems with constantly tightened muscles. I was always a very physical kid and some of my favorite things...climbing and arestling actually involved stretching these muscles or tightening them so much thatthey would eventually relax a little. I think this was a huge part of my insomnia as a kid but I have alsoo been taught relaxation techniques...(holding mucles rigid for as long as I can then realesing them), this helps alot as well as the "thinking" about the muscle and going in to it and forcing it to relax. Mostly, I don't realize I am clenching them until I lay down to sleep. I also tend to hold my breath a lot and have tried working on this but can't seem to conttrol it without feeling like I'm sufficating, (when I try and take deeper breaths to relax)...This was the main thing that made me give up yoga and meditation..I just could not control my breathing.

I do know another As guy who often uses vibration and heat to help with this and it does help me a little but I'm getting old and have a lot more problems with neck pain from all the years of "tensing/clinching". My BF beats this area as hard as he can and that helps for several hours.


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anbuend
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Fri May 16, 2008 2:56 pm

I had high muscle tone in my back since forever. And have had problems with low tone at times too (at two times in my life quite severely). So they're not mutually exclusive.


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2ukenkerl
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Fri May 16, 2008 3:39 pm

Who knows? It seems that Autistic people have less resolution in peripheral areas(apparently those neurons are used for other things though), and that is often compensated for. If it deals with the muscles, that means it could go either way, just as it does for the eyes, ears, nose, etc...

BTW Wikipedia says:

Quote:
Damage to upper motor neurons causes hypertonia, as well as spasticity (overactive reflexes) and rigidity (constant muscle contractions).


I am basically saying:

Reduction of upper motor neurons in Autistic individuals can cause hypertonia, as well as spasticity (overactive reflexes) and rigidity (constant muscle contractions).

Although I am no scientist, the reduction of peripheral neurons HAS been studied by scientists, and the theory of parallel action of nerves to control muscle is pretty much fact. It is supported by observation of partial loss of use in spinal cord patients(They didn't hurt muscle, and obviously didn't lose the ability to use some nerves controlling those muscles, but the muscles STILL partially atrophy), theories of the way muscles work, and observations by body builders. The ONLY question seems to be if the reduction of peripheral neurons extends to the muscles in question.

The GOOD thing is that this doesn't mean you can't improve, etc... You just might have to work a bit harder. And the neurons are apparently doing OTHER things, so there isn't necessarily a loss.



2ukenkerl
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Fri May 16, 2008 3:43 pm

ouinon wrote:
Sorry, can't help on hypertonia, just want to say that's very interesting; I didn't know that hypotonia was linked with ASDs, but that it fits for me cos I have/am hypotonic. Always have been.

Was recently struck by how many of the symptoms of hypothyroid/auto-immune thyroiditis were similar to ASDs, ( and that the latter thyroid condition can swing from hypo to hyper very often/swiftly).

:study:


My mother had thyroid problems, and my normal body temperature is 97.6! At least one person told me that means MY thyroid is on the fritz!(BTW on the fritz means working improperly or not at all) Doctors say all my blood tests look FINE though.



LoveableNerd
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Fri May 16, 2008 4:16 pm

I've had hypotonia for all my life. And I have rigid body movement, most noticeable when I attempt to dance lol.


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zen_mistress
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Fri May 16, 2008 5:10 pm

Interesting, I didnt know about hypotonia or hypertonia. Maybe it explains why some muscle groups in my body tense suddenly for no reason.


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samantca
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Fri May 16, 2008 5:37 pm

Im tense all the time. I dont think my muscles are ever relaxed. I usually wake up with neck pains for some unknown reason. My shoulders feel like they are made of lead. I usually notice best when im trying to sleep as i cant really relax properly.



marshall
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Fri May 16, 2008 7:00 pm

I'm very tense and inflexible. I have tight calves, hamstrings, and lower back.

I also have kyphosis on the upper part of my spine which gives me minor back ache all the time when I stand. The kyphosis contributes to the tenseness in all my muscles. I think all my muscle tension it contributes to my depression sometimes as well. Being physically tense all the time makes it hard for me to relax mentally.



krex
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Fri May 16, 2008 7:53 pm

marshall wrote:
I'm very tense and inflexible. I have tight calves, hamstrings, and lower back.

I also have kyphosis on the upper part of my spine which gives me minor back ache all the time when I stand. The kyphosis contributes to the tenseness in all my muscles. I think all my muscle tension it contributes to my depression sometimes as well. Being physically tense all the time makes it hard for me to relax mentally.


I think you make a good point...there does seem to be some kind of "feedback loop going on because the mins takes its ques about how we are feeling from outr bodies. If it senses that we are tense it thinks there must be something in the environment to make us tense(fight or flight syndrom), so it makes us tense up more in case we need to run or fight? Makes sense to me anyway. Maybe some biofeedback would help us?


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IdahoRose
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Fri May 16, 2008 8:34 pm

marshall wrote:
I'm very tense and inflexible.


So am I. Whenever I watch videos of dancers, I always wish I could move as gracefully as they do.



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