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Illness & Conditions - Definition

Spasticity

Spasticity

Spasticity is a condition in which muscles are tight or stiff. At times the muscles may jerk or spasm uncontrollably. It can interfere with your ability to move, speak, or walk normally. Spasticity usually occurs because of damage to the part of the brain or spinal cord that controls voluntary movement. It is often the result of a spinal cord injury, a stroke, or a disease such as multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease).

The main treatments are physical therapy and medicines that reduce muscle spasms. If spasticity isn't treated, the muscles may freeze in an abnormal position.

Current as of: May 2, 2014

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Karin M. Lindholm, DO - Neurology

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

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