Spasticity

Spasticity

Background

Spasticity is abnormally increased muscle tone. It is the result of a neurologic injury or disease such as from a stroke or spinal cord injury. Spasticity is usually felt as muscle tightness. It is velocity dependent, which means that as you move or range a limb the tightness will be felt and often increase in severity. If left untreated, spasticity can result in complications such as pain, contracture (the limb is stuck in an abnormal fixed position), skin problems, and loss of function.

Diagnosis

There are no specific tests required to diagnose spasticity except for a physical exam. However, x-ray is often ordered to rule out other potential causes of decreased range of motion in a limb.

Treatment

Spasticity can be treated in various ways. The first line of treatment is with oral muscle relaxers. If these do not work or are not well tolerated due to side effects, then Botox can be used to relax the tight muscles. In rare occasions, a special device called a Baclofen pump can be surgically installed directly into the the fluid around the spinal cord to help relax the muscles.

This Saturday, September 14th from 8am to 3pm I will be participating in the First Annual Neuro Symposium to be held at St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard, CA. This event will bring together physicians from various specialties and members of the community in an effort to learn more about the diagnosis and treatment of stroke, an all too common condition that has impacted the lives of many. ... See MoreSee Less

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Dr. Matthew L. Bloom

Many thanks to the wonderful staff at my office who helped me celebrate my birthday! ... See MoreSee Less

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805-351-0745