Neurology Management of Spasticity

Neurology Management of Spasticity in Greenville, SC

Spasticity is a condition in which the muscles of the body stiffen or tighten, which impairs movement. Unlike a temporary muscle spasm, muscles affected by spasticity remain contracted for long periods and resist being stretched. Spasticity can lead to problems with walking, sitting, feeding, talking, and other daily activities.

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Neurology Management of Spasticity in Greenville, SC

What causes muscle spasticity?

Muscle spasticity is caused by damage to the brain or spinal cord in areas that control muscle movement and reflexes. Spasticity often presents in people with multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and brain or spinal cord injuries such as stroke.

After a brain or spinal cord injury, the nervous system attempts to repair itself to regain lost motor control. Some muscles will regain their normal movement, but others may become overactive, which results in spasticity.

Spasticity symptoms

Muscle spasticity symptoms can vary a great deal between patients, with some experiencing severe spasticity while others suffer from only mild muscle rigidity.

Some common symptoms of muscle spasticity include:

  • Muscle stiffness makes certain movements and tasks difficult
  • Uncontrollable, painful muscle contractions
  • Deformation of muscles and joints
  • Chronic urinary tract infections or constipation
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Frozen joints

Types of spasticity

Patients with mild spasticity may be able to move, walk, and complete daily tasks, but find themselves with a slightly altered gait or imprecise movements. They may find it difficult to open a jar or hold an umbrella, for example. Mild spasticity patients may notice that their arms or legs stay in unusual positions while at rest, and they are harder to straighten out than they were before the illness or injury that brought on the spasticity.

In severe cases of spasticity, natural movement may be nearly impossible. Walking, independent use of the restroom, being able to self-feed, and other tasks that require movement are all but unfeasible. People with severe spasticity may need round-the-clock help with daily living.

    Spasticity treatment

    Patients who struggle with spasticity often find relief with a combination of spasticity medications, physical or occupational therapy, and other spasticity treatments. At Premier Neurology, we partner with other trusted practitioners, physical therapists, nutritionists, counselors, and more to build a comprehensive care team for our patients.

    Spasticity treatments we offer include:

    Baclofen Pump Management – Intrathecal Baclofen Therapy delivers baclofen to the fluid around the spinal cord to help manage severe spasticity. This convenient spasticity treatment delivers the medicine directly to the spinal fluid via a pump that is inserted under the skin of the abdomen. We then program the pump to deliver the proper dosage of baclofen for your symptoms and condition.

    Botox Treatments for Spasticity – Botox, made famous for its ability to reduce wrinkles by relaxing the muscles under the skin, is often used to treat severe spasticity. Botox injections directly into the affected muscles can reduce spasticity by interfering with the nerve signals that tell the muscles to contract. Botox for spasticity has been shown to improve gait and range of motion, decrease pain, and increase tolerance for stretching in spasticity patients.

    Spasticity medication – Oral spasticity medications may help with mild or moderate symptoms of spasticity. Popular spasticity medications include baclofen (oral), benzodiazepines, dantrolene sodium, imidazolines and gabapentin.

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