Spasticity is the resistance to stretch. It is defined as a lack of inhibition from the central nervous system which results in excessive contraction of the muscles. For some individuals, the disorder may ultimately lead to hyperflexia. Spasticity can also be present in various types of multiple sclerosis.
What Does it Feel like to Have Spasticity?
Spasticity is defined by feeling the resistance of your muscle to passive lengthening in its most relaxed state. A spastic muscle will have noticeable increased resistance to passive stretch when moved with speed or while attempting to be stretched out. More often than not, there will be multiple other changes in affected musculature and surrounding bones (such as misalignments of bone structure around the spastic muscles). Your muscles may be affected to varying degrees depending on the location and severity of the upper motor neuron damage. Our patients with spasticity may have any degree of impairment ranging from mild to severe.
For spastic muscles with little impairment, the Neuroscience Institute recommends patients get plenty of exercise as a way to manage the disorder. Exercising may be an issue for patients that have muscles affected by a severe level of spasticity. CHRISTUS provides many healthcare professionals that can aid these patients with any physical therapy needs they may have. Secondary complications of this condition may involve the development of contractures, deformity, and postural asymmetries. Types of intervention techniques our physicians will provide include icing, serial casting, sustained stretching, inhibitory pressure, and medical treatment.