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

 

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Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

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

There are currently no organizations listed in Disease InfoSearch that support this condition. Create a listing.

 

 

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 351 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Early prediction of long-term upper limb spasticity after stroke: part of the SALGOT study.
 

Author(s): Arve Opheim, Anna Danielsson, Margit Alt Murphy, Hanna C Persson, Katharina Stibrant Sunnerhagen

Journal: Neurology. 2015 Sep;85(10):873-80.

 

To identify predictors and the optimal time point for the early prediction of the presence and severity of spasticity in the upper limb 12 months poststroke.

Last Updated: 8 Sep 2015

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Measurement of ankle plantar flexor spasticity following stroke: Assessment of a new quantitative tool.
 

Author(s): Naoichi Chino, Yoshihiro Muraoka, Hiroki Ishihama, Masaru Ide, Riousuke Ushijima, Jeffrey R Basford

Journal: J Rehabil Med. 2015 Sep;47(8):753-5.

 

To assess the ability of a newly developed portable instrument (the Electric Spastic Ankle Measure (E-SAM)) to quantitatively measure ankle plantar flexor muscle tone and spasticity.

Last Updated: 3 Sep 2015

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Intrathecal Baclofen in Spinal Spasticity: Frequency and Severity of Withdrawal Syndrome.
 

Author(s): Ivana Stetkarova, Karel Brabec, Peter Vasko, Libor Mencl

Journal: Pain Physician. ;18(4):E633-41.

 

Intrathecal baclofen (ITB) delivered by programmable pump devices represents an important modality for long-term treatment of severe spinal spasticity.

Last Updated: 29 Jul 2015

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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 46 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

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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Pathophysiology of spasticity: implications for neurorehabilitation.
 

Author(s): Carlo Trompetto, Lucio Marinelli, Laura Mori, Elisa Pelosin, Antonio Currà, Luigi Molfetta, Giovanni Abbruzzese

Journal: Biomed Res Int. 2014 ;2014():354906.

 

Spasticity is the velocity-dependent increase in muscle tone due to the exaggeration of stretch reflex. It is only one of the several components of the upper motor neuron syndrome (UMNS). The central lesion causing the UMNS disrupts the balance of supraspinal inhibitory and excitatory ...

Last Updated: 22 Dec 2014

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Data condensed synthesis regarding kinesiotherapeutic procedures used in spasticity therapy.
 

Author(s): E Moraru, G Onose

Journal: J Med Life. 2014 Sep;7(3):317-21.

 

Spasticity represents an important feature of the upper motoneuron syndrome (UMNS). The clinical signs, such as the abnormal movement models, the unwanted muscular co-contractions, the muscular and joint rigidity with a consecutive deformity can be signs of spasticity and, also of ...

Last Updated: 21 Nov 2014

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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 Mar 2016

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