Spasticity is the inability to control some muscular movements resulting in an involuntary tightening or clenching of musclesin affected joints.Spasticity is usually the result of trauma to the cerebellum – the part of the brain that controls voluntary muscular movement. It is often present in people with cerebral palsy and in those suffering from progressive central nervous system disorders such as muscular sclerosis, Huntingdon’s disease and others.
The exact mechanisms of spasticity are still being debated but it is generally accepted that the condition involvesan imbalance between the excitatory and inhibitory signals that pass between the muscles and the central nervous system. The result is overexcitement in the muscles which gives rise to the characteristic body and limb rigidity that is typical of spasticity suffers. Spasticity can mild but it can also be both painful and debilitating.Some of the most common symptoms are:
If the spasticity spasms become too frequent, this can affect the sufferer’s ability to perform everyday tasks.Spasticity episodes that go on for too long without treatment can result in inability to walk, move or function as normal and even frozen joints and the eruption of pressure sores on the skin.
Exercise is known to be of great benefit to spasticity sufferers and there are a range of orthotic devices available that can help to control or limit spastic movement in affected muscles. The Revivo Intensive Suit and customized range of progressively more difficult targeted muscle exercises can be of great help in improving patient flexibility and controlled muscular movement range. Regular stretching is another proven method that can profoundly help spasticity sufferers with their functional motor skills and massage is another useful practice to limit discomfort and maximize quality of life.