Clonus in the joints, what is it?


The clonus, from the Greek “klonos”, is a rapid succession of contractions and relaxations in a set of muscles; the term clonus comes from the Greek in which it means “agitation”. This term is used in medicine to refer to a series of involuntary contractions, which normally occur in the feet, the kneecap and rarely in the hands.

How is it produced? Causes

Clonus is one of the possible responses of a neurological condition. It is produced by an injury to the pyramidal tract, the part of our brain responsible for voluntary movements such as walking, writing, etc …

Appears frequently in muscle groups specific, such as the knee or ankle joint and occurs when a sudden and passive tension is made on these parts.

Clonus is a physiological reflex in newborns, which occurs when a motor neuron in response to the excitation of a sensory neuron to which it is connected, sends an impulse that results in an involuntary movement. On the other hand, in adults, it is most cases pathological, which means that it may be due to a lesion located in the pyramidal tract, the part of our brain that controls voluntary movements.

Types of clonus

Usually, clonus is a pathology located in the ankles or even in the patella, but it can be found in other areas such as:

  • The standing clonus occurs when the affected person flexes the leg on the thigh. The person examining the patient should hold the foot from the sole and flex the limb dorsally. At that time the clonus will make its appearance and a series of limb shaking will occur.
  • Patella clonus is more difficult to observe, since it is a more limited movement consisting of pushing the kneecap down using the fingers.Knee


As it happens in the rest of pathologies, Depending on the type of clonus suffered, one treatment or another will have to be applied. In practice, there are some medications that serve to reduce symptoms, which are the aforementioned spasms and muscle pain, among others. These drugs are diazepam, clonazepam, tizanidine, or baclofen.

It is not advisable to abuse these medications, since among its side effects are drowsiness, fatigue and dizziness among others, they can also cause addiction.

Another alternative is injections, specifically botulinum toxin injections, which prevents the spread of nerve impulses through muscle relaxation. These injections are not permanent, since after a while their effects are reduced so they should be applied after a few months.

This disease due to a neuronal condition should not be treated as a joke. From here we encourage you to take the necessary measures such as contacting a professional if you have any of the symptoms mentioned above.

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