Spacticity is a symptom of many neurological diseases. The term spasticity means a ‘tightness in the muscles’ with increased tone.

Spasticity is a condition in which certain muscles are continuously contracted. This contraction causes stiffness or tightness of the muscles and can interfere with normal movement, speech, and gait. Spasticity is usually caused by damage to the portion of the brain or spinal cord that controls voluntary movement.

Muscle movements are normally controlled by a complex system that allows some muscles to contract (tighten) while others relax. Damage to nerves in the central nervous system can disrupt the pattern. As a result, many muscles may contract all at once. This condition can be found in cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, stroke, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, and other conditions that affect the brain and/or spinal cord. Spasticity mostly occurs in the legs but can occur in the arms.

What are symptoms of spasticity?

  • Increased muscle tone
  • Involuntary movements
    • Spasms (quick and/or sustained involuntary muscle contractions)
    • Clonus (series of fast involuntary contractions)
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Less ability to function
  • Problems with care and hygiene
  • Abnormal posture
  • Contracture (permanent contraction of the muscle and tendon due to severe lasting stiffness and spasms)
  • Bone and joint deformities
  • Decreased quality of life

When is spasticity treated?

Spasticity should be treated when it causes pain, interferes with activities of daily living or sleep, or leads to less ability to function.

How can Rehab Basics Help?

  • Reduction of bone injury such as fracture.
  • Posture Management: Proper positioning is an extremely important component of spasticity management. Poor positioning can result in an increase in spasticity. Postures that should be avoided include a scissoring posture (bilateral hip extension, adduction, internal rotation), windswept position (hip flexion, abduction, external rotation on one side and relative hip extension, adduction, and internal rotation on the other), and frog-leg position, which can exacerbate the problem. Positioning is also important in the wheelchair. Tone can be minimised by placing the patient with the hips and knees at 90 degrees and by maintaining good torso position.
  • Weight Bearing 
  • Encourage stretching 
  • TENS
  • FES
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Increase Range of Movement (ROM)

Treatment Sessions are offered in clinics across Northamptonshire and Milton Keynes or at Home Environment.

For further information about our service or to book an appointment with Rehab Basics please contact us.