Spasticity is elevated, involuntary, velocity-reliant muscle tone that triggers resistance to movement. This condition may arise secondary to a trauma or disorder, such as a stroke, a tumor, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis (MS) or peripheral nerve injury.
The pain connected with spasticity can be as gentle as a feeling of snug muscles, or it could be serious enough to generate agonizing spasms of the extremities, normally the legs. In addition Spasticity can trigger low back pain and lead to feelings of pain or rigidity around joints. Uncomfortable side effects of spasticity includes:
- Muscle stiffness, resulting in movements to be less accurate and making certain duties tough to perform
- Muscle spasms, causing irrepressible and often agonizing muscle contractions
- Fever and other systemic illnesses
- Muscle/joint deformities
- Involuntary leg crossing
- Blockage of protein synthesis in muscle cells
- Urinary tract infections
- Chronic constipation
- Muscle fatigue
- Blockage of longitudinal muscle growth
- Pressure sores
Spasticity is triggered by a discrepancy of signals emanating from the central nervous system to the muscles. This discrepancy is frequently found in individuals with traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, stroke, spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis. Spasticity may be triggered by the following conditions
- Brain damage due to lack of oxygen, as can happen in near suffocation or near drowning
- Head injury
- Cerebral palsy
- Multiple sclerosis
- Neurodegenerative illness — ailments that harm the nervous system and brain over time
- Spinal cord injury
This list doesn’t include all medical conditions that can lead to spasticity.
Although the indicationsof spasticity often seem evident, the condition must be evaluated by a specialist in neuromuscular disorders in order to get an precise diagnosis and treatment program.
- New onset spasticity diagnosis
In individuals with new onset spasticity, a comprehensive history and physical test, as well as tests using electromyography, assessment of nerve conduction velocities/imaging,,examination of the neck, head,and spine could be helpful in eradicating treatable causes of enhanced tone.
- Past neurologic insult diagnosis
In people with a past neurologic insult, an in depth history and physical exam is necessary to eliminate any aspects that can aggravate spasticity (eg, medication adjustments, noxious stimuli, elevated intracranial pressure).Laboratory test(eg, full blood count and culturing of blood, urine, cerebrospinal fluid) can help to rule out infections.
Because spasticity differs so much from one person to another, it must be dealt with on a case by case basis and demands a true collaboration between the individual with MS, physician, physical therapist, nurse, and occupational therapist.
- Treatment starts with the physician suggesting ways to reduce the symptoms, including medication, exercise, changes in daily pursuits or a blend of these methods.
- The doctor will monitor the progress and then make referrals to other health care professionals such as occupational and physical therapists. Regular stretching and other workouts are often helpful in helping to alleviate spasticity.