Advertisement

What is myotonia?

Myotonia is a neuromuscular disorder characterized by slow relaxation of the muscles after voluntary contraction or electrical stimulation and is caused by an abnormality in the muscle membrane. Individuals with the disorder may have a stiff, awkward gait and trouble releasing their grip on objects or rising from a sitting position. The disorder can affect all muscle groups and may be acquired or inherited.

Myotonia is a symptom commonly seen in patients with myotonic muscular dystrophy and in a group of disorders called channelopathies (hereditary diseases that are caused by mutations in the chloride sodium or potassium channels that affect the muscle membrane). Myotonia also may be triggered by exposure to cold.

Generally, repeated effort is needed to relax the muscles, and the condition improves after the muscles have warmed up.

This Answer is based on source information from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke .

Continue Learning about Genetic Disorders

Ask the Experts: Hereditary Angioedema Treatments
Ask the Experts: Hereditary Angioedema Treatments
In this video, Darria Long Gillespie, MD, discusses the two major treatment approaches for hereditary angioedema, treatments taken to stop attacks and...
Read More
What You Need to Know About Hereditary Angioedema
What You Need to Know About Hereditary Angioedema
Hereditary angioedema, abbreviated as HAE, is a disorder where people experience recurring episodes of severe swelling. This swelling can occur throug...
Read More
Why can it be so difficult to live with chronic ASMD?
Jumo HealthJumo Health
Living with chronic acid sphingomyelinase deficiency (ASMD) can be tough. It can be hard to keep up ...
More Answers
What is the purpose of the Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine?
Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine (FMM)Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine (FMM)
The Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine’s mission is to support the development of the most promis...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.