Spasticity is when some of your muscles all contract at once. And when that happens, things like a quick shower, sitting through a movie or even speaking can be challenging and even hurt. Stiffness, uncontrollable movements, pain — spasticity can be linked to several conditions, including cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis (MS), or a result of a stroke or an injury to your brain or spinal cord.
At Cleveland Clinic, we can help you manage spasticity and its underlying cause so you can be more comfortable and find daily activities easier to tackle. Our team of specialists surrounds you with support and compassionate care. We get to know you and work with you to create a treatment plan that fits your life.
Why Choose Cleveland Clinic for Spasticity Care?
Spasticity is often a symptom of a neurological condition, so you may see several different specialists as part of your treatment plan. All the members of your team will communicate with each other to give you the most comprehensive care and stay informed of your treatment and progress. Meet our team.
Treatment for spasticity involves a team. You’ll work with physiatrists, neurologists, and physical and occupational therapists. Your therapists have advanced training in neurologic physical therapy. Their expertise guides your therapy to make your muscles work better and relieve stiffness.
Our team takes detailed notes and data at each of your appointments and therapy sessions. We share your progress with you and adjust treatments as you work toward your goals.
We have many therapy locations. We’ll schedule your sessions with our expertly trained physical and occupational therapists at a convenient location for you.
We use the latest technology, including virtual reality for rehabilitation and ultrasound guidance for phenol injections.
Appointments don’t always have to be in person. Sometimes you can meet with your healthcare provider virtually from the comfort of home, work, or even your favorite coffee shop. All you need is a smartphone, tablet or computer.
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Spasticity Diagnosis at Cleveland Clinic
You may have already have been diagnosed with spasticity when you come through our doors. For example, if you’ve been diagnosed with MS, you may have a diagnosis of MS spasticity. Your provider may refer you to our experts for focused treatment of your spasticity symptom.
At your first appointment, your healthcare provider will:
- Do a physical exam.
- Go over your medical history.
- Listen to your goals and concerns.
- Ask what spasticity treatments you’ve already tried.
- Talk about treatment options.
Once you and your provider decide on a course of treatment, a nurse care coordinator will help you schedule your next appointments.
Providers Who Treat Spasticity
LocationsOur healthcare providers see patients at convenient locations throughout Northeast Ohio, Florida and Nevada.
Spasticity Treatment at Cleveland Clinic
Our team of compassionate specialists will create a personalized treatment plan that will:
- Make your muscles less stiff.
- Help prevent muscle spasms.
- Make you more comfortable.
- Make your muscles work easier.
- Help you sleep better.
Our team will give you ongoing spasticity care. We’re in close communication with you during and after treatment. At follow-up appointments, we go over your progress and adjust your care plan when needed.
Your treatment options might include:
Your provider may give you medications to relax your muscles. We may have you take these medications along with other treatments to make them the most effective.
Botulinum toxin injections
Local injections (shots) of botulinum toxin (Botox®) can do a good job of reducing muscle spasticity. During this treatment, your provider injects medication into the spastic muscle to relax it, making muscle stiffness and spasms less intense. Botulinum toxin injections wear off over time, so you’ll need more injections about every three months.
Your provider uses a stimulator or ultrasound to find the motor nerve associated with the spastic muscle. Once they find the motor nerve, they inject medication to block the nerve and help with your spasticity.
Phenol lasts a little longer than botulinum toxin. If you have spasticity in more than one muscle, we may use a combination of botulinum toxin and phenol injections.
Intrathecal baclofen therapy
If your spasticity is really bad and affects several areas of the body, your provider may recommend you try an intrathecal baclofen pump. A neurosurgeon puts the pump into your abdomen (belly). You’re under general anesthesia during the procedure, so you won’t feel any discomfort.
The pump sends baclofen medication directly into your spinal canal. Your provider refills the pump with medication every few months at follow-up appointments. To do this, we insert a needle through the skin into the pump’s refill port.
Physical and occupational therapy
Our physical and occupational therapists design a custom program that fits your needs and independence goals. In partnership with your providers, we work to help your muscles work their best and help you regain movement you may have lost.
Taking the Next Step
You might think that spasticity is just a part of your daily routine now. But there are treatment options that can help. Our experts can help you find a treatment that fits in your life and helps you get back to enjoying it again.
Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic spasticity experts is easy. We’re here to help you get the care you need.
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