Spasticity refers to continuous, involuntary muscle contractions following damage to the brain or spinal cord. These contractions may interfere with movement, speech, gait, and general motor functions, affecting a person’s quality of life.
Spasticity may occur in association with:
- Brain trauma
- Cerebral palsy
- Multiple sclerosis
- Spinal cord injury
Spasticity may also occur with some metabolic disorders as well as other medical conditions.
The Mount Sinai Hospital Neurology department offers several means of treating spasticity:
- Rehabilitation therapy
- We provide both physical and occupational therapy to treat spasticity.
- Medications for spasticity management include: baclofen (oral or via a pump implanted into the spinal canal [intrathecal]), diazepam, tizanidine, or clonazepam. Because these prescriptions are systemic, they often carry significant side effects, including sleepiness, headache, and nausea, which can make it difficult to achieve optimum rehabilitation.
- Surgery may be performed to release tendons or sever the affected nerve-muscle pathways. These procedures are invasive, costly, and at times debilitating.
- Injections of botulinum toxin
- Injections of botulinum toxin are an excellent, minimally invasive treatment option for spasticity with a low risk of side effects. The treatment is targeted, thereby avoiding potential complications associated with systemic medications or surgical interventions.
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New York, NY 10029-6574
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