Spasticity is a physiological consequence of damage to the brain or spinal cord and typically occurs in conditions such as stroke), head trauma, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and others. Abnormal muscle contraction cause the spastic limbs to lose flexibility, causing pain and mobility problems for sufferers Learn the characteristics and causes of the condition, methods of diagnosis and the various treatment options available.
Rigourous clinical analysis is required to assess the degree, actual consequences and spread of spasticity. Before making the diagnosis, the physician evaluates:
- Muscle resistance of the affected limb to stretching;
- The impact of the spasticity on the patient’s daily life. Spasticity is only treated if the functional interference caused can be reduced with treatment.
- Its potential “utility”, specifically, when the spasticity counterbalances another neurological deficit (for example, muscular hypotonia can help in maintaining a standing position, despite weakness or paresis (partial paralysis) of the leg). In this case, reducing spasticity would have a negative impact on the patient’s mobility.
Spasticity develops gradually
Rigorous clinical analysis is required to diagnose spasticity
Treatment is not always called for
RCP national guidelines, « Spasticity in adults : management using botulinum toxin » Jan 2009
Bandi, S. & Ward A.B. http://sphhp.buffalo.edu/content/sphhp/rehabilitation-science/research-and-facilities/funded-research-archive/center-for-international-rehab-research-info-exchange/_jcr_content/par/download/file.res/pdf.zip Last accessed 18/07/2017
Intrathecal baclofen https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/1295 Last accessed 18/07/2017