What is Spasticity?
Spasticity is a condition that affects the muscles. It causes stiffness, restriction of movement, involuntary movements, pain and other abnormalities that reduce functionality. Patients with spasticity often have discomfort, limited movement, and muscle contractures.
What Causes Spasticity?
Muscle movements are normally controlled by a complex system that allows some muscles to contract (tighten) while others relax. Damage to the central nervous system disrupts this pattern. Spasticity usually develops as a complication from many common conditions, including:
- Brain Injury
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Cerebral Palsy
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
About the Spasticity Clinic in Cape Girardeau
The Spasticity Clinic at Saint Francis Medical Center provides comprehensive medical evaluation of patients with spasticity and carefully planned treatments to improve their physical function. The caregivers at Saint Francis Medical Center’s Spasticity Clinic take a team approach to working with patients and their families. Led by Dr. Heidi Hunter, the multidisciplinary Spasticity Team is made up of physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals from across the spectrum, including:
- Advanced practice clinicians
- Physical therapists
- Occupational therapists
- Pain management specialists
Treatment for Spasticity at Saint Francis
Saint Francis’ Spasticity Team evaluates each patient and develops an appropriate treatment plan, which may range from nonmedical treatment such as stretching to medical options such as surgery or medications. A physical therapist assesses the patient’s range of motion, strength, functional mobility, gait, spasm severity and equipment needed. A physical medicine and rehabilitation physician addresses each patient’s medical history and medications. Based on the physical therapy assessment and medical information, the team provides each patient with an optimal, individualized treatment program.
A diverse range of spasticity treatments is offered at Saint Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau, from simple therapies to the newest, most sophisticated technologies:
- Physical and/or occupational therapy
- Daily stretching exercises
- Splinting, casting, and/or bracing
- Intramuscular botulinum toxin (Botox) injections
- Nerve blocks
- Orthopedic surgery
- Intrathecal Baclofen Therapy (ITB)