Spasticity is a condition of increased muscle tone in which muscles acquire a state of near constant contraction, or activity. Muscle spasticity causes a loss of range of motion of the affected area and a loss of function. There is also a resistance to movement by an examiner. In the affected muscles, spasticity can also cause symptoms such as
- stiffness, and
Hyperactive reflexes, sudden or involuntary movements, abnormal posture, and bone and joint deformities can result from spasticity. Spasticity occurs when there has been damage or injury to part of the spinal cord or brain. Examples of conditions that can lead to spasticity include stroke, brain or spinal cord trauma, cerebral palsy, and multiple sclerosis.
Other causes of spasticity
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
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ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) Symptoms, Causes, Life Expectancy
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Cerebral palsy (CP) is an abnormality of motor function and postural tone acquired at an early age (even before birth). Cerebral palsy is generally caused by brain trauma. Types of cerebral palsy include: spastic, dyskinetic (dystonic or choreoathetoid), hypotonic, and mixed types. There is no cure for cerebral palsy, and treatment is generally managing the symptoms of the condition.
Head Injury (Brain Injury)
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Examples of Medications for Spasticity
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