After a stroke, damage to the brain can block messages between muscles and the brain. This causes arm and leg muscles to cramp or spasm (spasticity), kind of like a bad charley horse. This will limit your coordination and muscle movement, however spasticity treatment is effective. This post-stroke condition makes daily activities such as bathing, eating and dressing more difficult.
Spasticity can cause long periods of strong contractions in major muscle groups, causing painful muscle spasms.
These spasms can produce:
- A tight fist
- Bent elbow
- Arm pressed against the chest
- Stiff knee
- Pointed foot
- Stiffness in the arms, fingers or legs
There are many strategies for spasticity treatment to help you recover, return to work and regain function.
In order to achieve the best results possible recovery, a mixture of therapies and medications are often used to treat spasticity. Ask a healthcare professional about the best treatment plan for you. Some of the options include:
- Braces. Putting a brace on an affected limb
- Exercises. Range-of-motion exercises
- Stretching. Gentle stretching of tighter muscles
- Movement. Frequent repositioning of body parts
- Medications. Medications are available to treat the effects of spasticity
- ITB Therapy. A programmable, battery-powered medical device that stores and delivers medication to treat some of the symptoms of severe spasticity
- Injections. Injections block the chemicals that make muscles tight
- Surgery. Surgery on the muscles or tendons and joints may block pain and restore movement