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Muscle Spasticity

Muscle spasticity refers to a condition that causes certain muscles to constantly contract or remain tight. This can affect various types of movement including how you speak, walk, or perform simple tasks. Muscle spasticity is a common symptom with both cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis. It often affects the muscles in the arms, legs, hands, and feet.

 

Causes

Muscle spasticity is often the result of a brain or spinal cord injury that damages the nerves leading to a specific area of the body. It can also be the result of deterioration of the nerves caused by a stroke, meningitis, or conditions like Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

 

Symptoms

The symptoms associated with muscle spasticity can range from mild to severe, depending on each person’s condition. Involuntary muscle contractions, tightness, stiffness, muscle fatigue, and muscle deformities are just a few of the more common symptoms. Some people may experience chronic constipation and urinary tract infections as well.

 

Muscle Spasticity Treatment Options

Treatment options will range depending on the severity of the condition and the age of the patient. Physical/occupational therapy may help to relieve the muscle stiffness and improve range of motion. In some case, Botox injections have been helpful. For severe cases, surgery may be needed to release the muscle and allow for proper movement. Massage therapy may also be an option.
Muscle spasticity is often something that can’t be prevented, but it can be treated to an extent. The key is to maintain as much activity as possible through physical therapy and day to day activities. Every person is different. Work with a physician to find the right treatment options to meet your needs.


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