According to John Hopkins Medicine, muscle spasticity affects more than 12 million people worldwide. It’s prevalent in people with certain conditions such as cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis, making everyday tasks and motor movements more difficult.
When muscle spasticity develops in children, it can lead to deformed joints, disabilities, and growth problems. The treatment requires a comprehensive approach with a combination of medications, exercise, physical therapy, and even surgery in some cases.
Read on to learn about the causes and effects of muscle spasticity and whether it can cause muscle weakness.
What Is Muscle Spasticity?
Spasticity refers to involuntary contractions, stiffness, or spasms in your muscles. The muscles remain contracted, preventing regular fluid movement, which can cause a lot of damage. The symptoms can range from uncomfortable to disabling, and they can be really painful at times. In fact, spasticity can make it harder to walk, talk, or even move and perform any action.
Muscle spasticity mainly occurs when nerve signals are interrupted by damage. Damaged nerves can cause overactivity or loss of coordination of muscle groups, leading to involuntary spasms. Your limbs can also become stiff and tight, and you may find it challenging to move them.
Spasticity occurs in people with:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Cerebral palsy
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Muscle Spasticity Symptoms
Symptoms can vary from mild and annoying to severe. The most common ones include:
- Muscle spasms
- Muscle stiffness
- Involuntary crossing of legs
- Muscle weakness
- Joint deformities
- Impaired muscle growth
- Frozen joints
- Difficulty speaking
- Involuntary jerky movements
- Change of posture
As you can see, there are many symptoms accompanying muscle spasms that can point to several underlying conditions. Muscle weakness is one of them, and it can result from disrupted muscle cell metabolism, which is common with this condition. Also, muscles use energy to contract, so people may experience weakness afterward.
The symptoms can be triggered by stress, sudden movements, fatigue, extreme hot or cold, infection, or tight clothing.
How Is Muscle Spasticity Treated?
You should seek medical help when your spasticity first occurs. You should also visit a doctor if it gets more severe or frequent, your pain increases, you have a frozen joint, or you find it difficult to perform everyday tasks.
Spasticity can lead to joint deformities, urinary tract infections, chronic constipation, and pressure sores if left untreated. The treatment focuses on relieving pain, relaxing muscles, eliminating stiffness, and encouraging growth. It includes:
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Surgical interventions
In addition, your doctor may suggest some approaches for at-home care. That includes getting enough sleep, stretching, moving regularly, wearing loose-fit clothing, and avoiding extreme temperatures.
Get Adequate Treatment
Dr. Nash from the Progressive Pain and Rehabilitation Center can help you with muscle spasticity, pain, and other accompanying symptoms. We offer a range of services focused on regenerative medicine and helping you live a pain-free life. Contact us to book an appointment and start your treatment today.