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.

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

[Effect of botulinum toxin A injection in the treatment of gastrocnemius spasticity in children aged 9-36 months with cerebral palsy: a prospective study].
 

Author(s): Deng-Na Zhu, Ming-Mei Wang, Jun Wang, Wei Zhang, He-Zhou Li, Po Yang, Hua-Chun Xiong, Guo-Hui Niu, San-Song Li, Yun-Xia Zhao

Journal: Zhongguo Dang Dai Er Ke Za Zhi. 2016 Feb;18(2):123-9.

 

To investigate the long-term clinical efficacy and adverse effects of botulinum toxin-A (BTX-A) injection in the treatment of gastrocnemius spasticity in children aged 9-36 months with cerebral palsy.

Last Updated: 23 Feb 2016

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Robotic pilot study for analysing spasticity: clinical data versus healthy controls.
 

Author(s): Nitin Seth, Denise Johnson, Graham W Taylor, O Brian Allen, Hussein A Abdullah

Journal:

 

Spasticity is a motor disorder that causes significant disability and impairs function. There are no definitive parameters that assess spasticity and there is no universally accepted definition. Spasticity evaluation is important in determining stages of recovery. It can determine ...

Last Updated: 2 Dec 2015

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Biceps femoris late latency responses and the "notching sign" in spasticity.
 

Author(s): Mehmet Gürbüz, Süleyman Bilgin, Yalçın Albayrak, Ferah Kızılay, Hilmi Uysal

Journal:

 

Spasticity is a motor impairment due to lesions in the brain and spinal cord. Despite being a well-known problem, difficulties remain in the assessment of the condition. The electrophysiological and kinesiological characteristics of the patellar pendulum changes during the movement ...

Last Updated: 20 Oct 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 47 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 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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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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