Spasticity is a debilitating condition impacting approximately 1 million Americans. Often affecting the upper and lower limbs, spasticity is caused by damage to nerve pathways within the brain or spinal cord that control muscle movement. Spasticity may occur following a stroke, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, in patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, or in adults affected by cerebral palsy.
Symptoms of spasticity include:
- Stiffness in the muscles causing pain and involuntary movements
- Impaired walking
- Impaired arm or hand function
- Hygiene problems
Physiatrists (rehabilitation physicians) at Northwell Health Rehabilitation Network treat spasticity with many options, including:
- Botulinum toxin injections
- Oral medications
- Intrathecal baclofen pumps
- Physical and/or occupational therapy
- Splinting and bracing
These options can result in meaningful functional improvement that makes a difference in quality of life and allowing patients to gain back mobility and independence.
Northwell Health physiatrists are experts in the non-operative treatment of injuries to the nerve, muscle and/or bones. Their expertise lies in the treatment of spasticity to improve range of motion, reduce pain and improve independence.