Spasticity

Spasticity is a condition in which certain muscles are continuously contracted or have an increase in tone. These tight, stiff muscles can result from an imbalance in nerve signals between muscles and damaged neurons in the brain or spinal cord as a result of a stroke or other injury. Common conditions that may cause spasticity include:

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Stroke
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
  • Hypoxic encephalopathy (brain damage from a lack of oxygen)
  • Dystonia

Spasticity can significantly interfere with normal movement, speech, walking, and performing activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and eating. It can also negatively affect muscles and joints, particularly in growing children.

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