Contact our healthcare team at Ramos Center to discover how we can assist you in managing spasticity following a stroke. Schedule an appointment by calling us or visiting our website. Our accessible locations in Bradenton FL, Sarasota FL, Venice FL, Englewood FL, Port Charlotte FL, Dunedin FL, and St. Petersburg, FL cater to your convenience.REQUEST A NEW PATIENT APPOINTMENT
Do you suffer from pain after a stroke? Check out the treatments we provide to relieve your pain. Our healthcare professionals will customize a treatment strategy specifically for you.
- Deep Paraspinal Botox Injections
- Intrathecal Baclofen Pump
- Physical Therapy
You can either call us or click here to fill out our appointment request form to schedule an appointment.
What is Post Stroke Spasticity and How Prevalent is it?
Post Stroke Spasticity (PSS) is commonly defined as “a motor disorder characterized by a velocity-dependent increase in tonic stretch reflexes along with exaggerated tendon jerks, resulting from hyperexcitability of the stretch reflex, as a component of the upper motor neuron syndrome.” It is a frequent complication of a stroke that contributes to impairments and disabilities, negatively impacting functional recovery. PSS, along with weakness and lack of coordination, results in gait abnormalities and arm usage problems. Untreated spasticity may lead to reduced quality of life, increased pain, and joint contractures.
Three community-based studies that tracked stroke survivors for 3-12 months found PSS incidences between 17% and 43%. Certain factors are considered predictors of PSS, including:
- Stroke lesions in the brainstem
- Hemorrhagic stroke in younger age
- Severe paresis and hemihypesthesia at stroke onset
How do you treat spasticity after a stroke?
Although spasticity can be painful, there are several ways to alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life. Here are seven tips for managing spasticity after a stroke:
- Exercise or stretch affected limbs – Regularly exercising or stretching the affected limbs can ease tightness, maintain range of motion, and prevent muscles from shortening. Consult a physical or occupational therapist for exercises specifically designed for post-stroke spasticity.
- Adjust your posture – Avoid prolonged periods in one position to prevent muscles and joints from becoming stiff and sore. Caregivers should assist individuals with spasticity in changing positions every 1-2 hours to keep the body limber.
- Support affected limbs – Supporting the affected limbs with braces or other devices can help prevent spasticity from worsening and provide comfort.
- Adapt your home – Adapting your home with ramps, grab bars, raised toilet seats, and other modifications can make it easier to move around and perform daily tasks.
- Seek support – Seeking support from family and friends can help with tasks around the home and encourage active movement.
- Work with an occupational therapist – Occupational therapists can teach people with spasticity how to perform everyday tasks more efficiently and make adjustments to their lifestyle.
- Use mobility aids – Using mobility aids such as wheelchairs, canes, and walkers can help individuals with spasticity move around more easily. Consult with an occupational therapist to determine which mobility aid is best suited for you.
How does a stroke contribute to spasticity?
A stroke can result in damage to the area of the brain that regulates signals to the muscles. This can lead to spasticity or an abnormal increase in muscle tone. Spasticity can cause muscles to become stiff, tight, and painful, which can impact mobility, speech, and coordination. Muscles may remain contracted in specific positions, such as a clenched fist, bent wrist, or tucking the thumb into the palm. After a stroke, spasticity may also manifest as tight knees, tension in the fingers, bending of the foot at an angle, weakness in a foot, bending of the arm and holding it tight against the chest, and curling of the toes.
For further details, please contact us. We offer services to patients in Bradenton FL, St. Petersburg FL, Sarasota FL, Palmetto FL, Laurel FL, Venice FL, Englewood FL, Memphis FL, Cortez FL, Port Charlotte FL, and Dunedin FL.