The primary goal of treating the aftermath of neurological disorders is to restore function. This can be challenging. One of the consequences of strokes and brain injury is spasticity.
Spasticity is an increase in the tone or tightness of a muscle. Spasticity may occur following traumatic brain injury, stroke, and spinal cord injury. It may also occur with neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis.
Spasticity may affect the use of an arm, leg or both, making activities such as dressing, eating, bathing and walking extremely difficult. Speech and head and trunk movements may also be affected.
There are several ways of managing spasticity. Physical therapy may help the patient adapt to the condition and may help reduce some of the tone. Therapy targeting ambulation and activities of daily living is essential.
Muscle relaxers are medications that decrease muscle tone by acting directly on the muscles or nervous system. These include BACLOFEN, TIZANIDINE, FLEXERIL, METHOCARBABOL, etc.
Medications such as BOTOX and Xeomin are muscle relaxers that are injected directly into the affected muscle. Muscle relaxation from these injections may last up to three months at a time. A reduction in muscle tone may result in improved function.
Baclofen is a muscle-relaxing medication that can be taken by mouth or by continuous administration into the spine (intrathecal administration) through an internal pump.
Our physicians at Mission Pain and Spine use a multi-discipline approach to best help deal with spasticity. Ask your physician about which one of these therapies might be best to treat your condition.