Muscle Spasticity

Muscle spasticity is an exaggeration of the normal reflexes that occur when the body is stimulated in certain ways. Muscle spasms can occur any time the body is stimulated below the level of injury.

Almost anything can trigger spasticity. Skin breakdown, bladder infection or kidney infection may increase the problem. A person who does not perform regular exercises, muscles and joints become less flexible and almost any minor stimulation can cause severe spasticity. Some spasticity may always be present.
Benefits of Muscle Spasticity
There are many benefits to spasticity. It can serve as a warning mechanism to identify pain or problems in areas where there is decreased sensation. Spasticity also helps to maintain muscle size and bone strength. It does not replace walking, but it does help to some degree in preventing osteoporosis. Spasticity helps maintain circulation in the legs and can be used to improve certain functional activities such as performing transfers. The best way to manage or reduce excessive spasms is to perform a daily exercise program.
Muscle Spasticity and Project Walk
Spasms are only symptoms of a more significant issue. Unlike the majority of the medical community, Project Walk believes that spasms are simply an indicator that the nervous system is not functioning properly and/or is attempting to reorganize. Either way, spasms are not seen as a problem, but viewed in a positive light.
We do not train the spasms to become stronger; we train the nervous system to become stronger. It is true that as the nervous system reorganizes, clients with little or no spasms may experience an increase in spasm frequency and intensity. However, clients need to understand that this is only a byproduct of what we believe is occurring; the nervous system is reorganizing. As the nervous system improves and strengthens to a more normal state, the spasms may subside.
Antispasmodic Medications
pain medication, anti spasm medicationsBecause we believe that muscle spasticity indicates a dysfunction or changing nervous system, we do not promote reducing it through medication. Most Project Walk clients do not take antispasmodic medications and we encourage all new clients, with the guidance of their physician, to wean themselves off any antispasmodics they may be taking. Antispasmodic medications are usually used by Project Walk clients when spasticity interferes with sleep or limits an individual’s functional capacity.
San Diego, CA