Spasticity

Common Name(s)

Spasticity

Spasticity is a muscular condition characterized by involuntary movements and stiffness. Affected individuals will experience resistance when attempting movements due to muscles being involuntarily contracted. This condition may make small movements, such as buttoning a shirt, very difficult. Spasticity is caused by injury to the brain, spinal cord, or nerves as a result of trauma, stroke, or neuromuscular disorders. This injury results in abnormal signaling between the brain and muscles, causing the abnormal contraction of muscles. Many stroke survivors and over 80% of individuals with multiple sclerosis are affected by spasticity.

Common signs of spasticity include abnormal posture, a clenched fist, and flexed elbows, hands, or fingers. Individuals affected by spasticity may experience symptoms ranging from minor stiffness and inflexibility to involuntary and painful spasms. Other symptoms include difficulty speaking, jerky motions, pain with movement, and very strong reflexes. When an individual has severe spasticity for a long time, their muscle may decrease in size. This may lead to reduced range of motion or the inability to move a joint from a fixed position.

Diagnosis and treatment of spasticity are important to minimize symptoms in affected individuals. Proper treatment can reduce limitations, prevent further injury, and improve quality of life. Treatment for spasticity depends on the severity of the symptoms and overall health of the affected individual. Braces are often used to keep a muscle in a desired position. Physical therapy and exercises often help to strengthen muscles, maintain full range of motion, and reduce risk of permanent muscle damage. Medications taken as pills, injections, and/or implanted devices may be used to help relax muscles. If you or your child has been diagnosed with spasticity, talk to your doctor about the most current treatment options.

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Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Spasticity" for support, advocacy or research.

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General Support Organizations

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Scientific Literature

Articles from the PubMed Database

Research articles describe the outcome of a single study. They are the published results of original research.
The terms "Spasticity" returned 370 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Three Case Reports of Successful Vibration Therapy of the Plantar Fascia for Spasticity Due to Cerebral Palsy-Like Syndrome, Fetal-Type Minamata Disease.
 

Author(s): Fusako Usuki, Satsuki Tohyama

Journal: Medicine (Baltimore). 2016 Apr;95(15):e3385.

 

Fetal-type Minamata disease is caused by the exposure to high concentrations of methylmercury in the fetal period and shows cerebral palsy-like clinical features. Relief of spasticity is a major task of rehabilitation to improve their activities of daily living. Here we report the ...

Last Updated: 16 Apr 2016

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Normative NeuroFlexor data for detection of spasticity after stroke: a cross-sectional study.
 

Author(s): Gaia Valentina Pennati, Jeanette Plantin, Jörgen Borg, Påvel G Lindberg

Journal:

 

The NeuroFlexor is a novel instrument for quantification of neural, viscous and elastic components of passive movement resistance. The aim of this study was to provide normative data and cut-off values from healthy subjects and to use these to explore signs of spasticity at the wrist ...

Last Updated: 18 Mar 2016

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Quantitative evaluation for spasticity of calf muscle after botulinum toxin injection in patients with cerebral palsy: a pilot study.
 

Author(s): Yu-Ching Lin, I-Ling Lin, Te-Feng Arthur Chou, Hsin-Min Lee

Journal:

 

Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common pediatric disease to cause motor disability. Two common symptoms in CP are spasticity and contracture. If this occurred in the ankle plantar flexors of children with CP, it will impair their gait and active daily living profoundly. Most children ...

Last Updated: 12 Mar 2016

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Reviews from the PubMed Database

Review articles summarize what is currently known about a disease. They discuss research previously published by others.
The terms "Spasticity" returned 48 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Systematic Literature Review of AbobotulinumtoxinA in Clinical Trials for Lower Limb Spasticity.
 

Author(s): Khashayar Dashtipour, Jack J Chen, Heather W Walker, Michael Y Lee

Journal: Medicine (Baltimore). 2016 Jan;95(2):e2468.

 

To elucidate clinical trial efficacy, safety, and dosing practices of AbobotulinumtoxinA (ABO) treatment in adult patients with lower limb spasticity.A systematic literature review was performed to identify randomized controlled trials of ABO in the treatment of adult lower limb spasticity.Of ...

Last Updated: 15 Jan 2016

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Spasticity in multiple sclerosis and role of glatiramer acetate treatment.
 

Author(s): Jose Eustasio Meca-Lallana, Rocío Hernández-Clares, Ester Carreón-Guarnizo

Journal: Brain Behav. 2015 Sep;5(9):e00367.

 

Spasticity is one of the most disabling and difficult-to-treat symptoms shown by patients with multiple sclerosis, who often show a suboptimal and unsatisfactory response to classic treatment and new available nonpharmacological alternatives. Due to the progressive nature of this ...

Last Updated: 8 Oct 2015

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Spasticity and its contribution to hypertonia in cerebral palsy.
 

Author(s): Lynn Bar-On, Guy Molenaers, Erwin Aertbeliën, Anja Van Campenhout, Hilde Feys, Bart Nuttin, Kaat Desloovere

Journal: Biomed Res Int. 2015 ;2015():317047.

 

Spasticity is considered an important neural contributor to muscle hypertonia in children with cerebral palsy (CP). It is most often treated with antispasticity medication, such as Botulinum Toxin-A. However, treatment response is highly variable. Part of this variability may be due ...

Last Updated: 4 Feb 2015

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Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

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Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) for the Treatment of Spasticity in Persons With Spinal Cord Injury
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Spinal Cord Injury; Spasticity

 

Last Updated: 16 Nov 2015

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Compare Two Guidance Techniques for Botulinum Toxin Injections for the Treatment of Limb Spasticity and Focal Dystonia
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Spasticity; Focal Dystonia; Tremor, Limb

 

Last Updated: 14 Sep 2016

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