Spinal Cord Injury and Spasticity
The majority of people who suffer from a spinal cord injury, or SCI, will experience some level of spasticity associated with their injury. Spasticity hypertonia is when the body has difficulty controlling muscle movement due to interference in the nerve signals sent from the brain to the muscles and vice versa. Close to 80% of patients with an SCI will experience spasticity, either temporarily or permanently. At Medici Spine & Pain, we offer treatments and pain management for patients with spasticity caused by a spinal cord injury.
Types of Hypertonia Spasticity
When the nerve pathways are interrupted due to an SCI, the affected muscle can spasm or move unpredictably. There are different types of hypertonia spasticity that can occur in patients who have suffered a spinal cord injury. These include:
- Muscle tightness – Muscles can contract and stay tightened involuntarily, causing discomfort and mobility issues.
- Sudden muscle movements or spasms- Involuntary muscle spasms or movement can occur when the muscles suddenly contract and release. This can be muscles in the limbs, back or torso. They also can affect sphincter muscles that control your bowels, causing incontinence or evacuation of the bowels.
- Reflex muscle spasms- Reflexes can become hyperactive, causing involuntary muscle spasms.
The spasticity is connected with the location of the spinal cord injury. The location and frequency of spasticity symptoms are important in determining the best treatment options, so tracking symptoms can be beneficial.
Treating Spasticity Caused by SCI
There are effective treatments that help control and limit spasticity caused by SCI. Every patient is unique, and a personalized treatment plan is important for success. At Medici Spine & Pain, we work with patients and their health care teams to find the best treatment plan to improve muscle control and limit pain or discomfort. Treatments can include medication management, physical therapy, Botox injections and nerve blocks.
If you have suffered a spinal cord injury and want to explore treatment options for controlling spasticity, contact Medici Spine & Pain today to schedule an appointment. Choose one of our clinics located in the greater Atlanta area.