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About Spasticity

According to the data, about 80% of people with cerebral palsy in America reported with varying degrees of Spasticity.  It is estimated that about 500,000 people with cerebral palsy, equates to 400,000 people with some degree of Spasticity. About 80% of people with multiple sclerosis reported with Spasticity. It estimated 400,000 people in America with multiple sclerosis, this equates to about 320,000 people with multiple sclerosis-related spasticity.

Spasticity is a condition in which velocity-dependent muscle tone increase in stretch reflex in involuntary muscle over-activity that causes contractions and stiffness or tightness in the muscles and can interfere with normal movement, speech, and gait. It is mostly caused due to damage to the portion of the brain or spinal cord that controls voluntary movement. The damage in the system causes imbalances of signals between the nervous system and the muscles. This imbalance results in increased activity in the muscles. Spasticity affects muscles and joints of the extremities. It is very harmful in growing children.

Causes of Spasticity

Spasticity caused due to an imbalance of signals from the central nervous system to the muscles. This imbalance is mostly found in people with traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, stroke, and spinal cord injury.

More than 12 million people are affected by Spasticity. There are some different conditions that might cause Spasticity such as, Brain damage due to a lack of oxygen, Encephalitis, Meningitis, Phenylketonuria, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Adrenoleukodystrophy.

Diagnosis of Spasticity

Your medical history is very important to diagnose spasticity. Previous medications you have taken and whether you have a history of neurological or muscular disorders in yourself or your family also help to diagnose Spasticity.

In rare cases, electromyography might be used to determine specific nerve conduction velocities that help to diagnose Spasticity.

Several tests are to be performed for diagnoses of Spasticity. These tests help to evaluate your arm and leg movements, muscular activity, ability to perform self-care activities, and passive/active range of motion.

Symptoms of Spasticity

Ideally, the most common sign of the condition is resistance to a passive change in a joint angle. In Spasticity you might feel like tightness in muscles or uncontrollable spasms of the extremities mostly in legs and arms. The pain or tightness may occur in and around joints and can cause mild back pain.

Severe symptoms in Spasticity occur as mentioned below:

Muscle stiffness that causes precise movement and makes certain tasks difficult to perform, muscle spasms that cause uncontrollable and painful muscle contractions, involuntary crossing of the legs, muscle, and joint deformities, increased muscle tone, clonus, muscle fatigue, delayed motor development, inhibition of longitudinal muscle growth, abnormal posture, overactive reflexes, difficulty with care and hygiene, and inhibition of protein synthesis in muscle cells.

There are some rare complications occur in Spasticity, such as urinary tract infections, chronic constipation, fever or other systematic illness, pressure, etc.

Treatment of Spasticity

Baclofen IP is an active component used in the treatment of spasticity. This active component is used in the medication Lioresal. This medicine is manufactured by leading pharmaceutical company, Novartis.

It is a centrally acting muscle relaxant that plays a role of a muscle relaxant, a central nervous system depressant, and a GABA agonist.

Ampyra is a popular brand medicine composed of active component Dalfampridine Acorda. This drug is a potassium channel blocker that is indicated for the treatment to improve walking in people with multiple sclerosis. It is believed to work by improving nerve conduction.