When it comes to spasticity or cerebral palsy, there are there some things you need to know. Spasticity is the most common type of cerebral palsy affecting about seventy to eighty percent of all patients. It occurs when the cerebral cortex is damaged. If you or your child has been diagnosed with spastic cerebral palsy, you need to know as much as you can about it and what to do about it.
What is Spasticity?
Spasticity is used to define the type of cerebral palsy that causes increased tone or tension in the muscle. Normal muscles in a human body will work in pairs. One group will contract while the other relaxes, which gives free movement in the direction you choose.
In spasticity, this normal movement is disrupted due to problems with the brain to nerve-muscle coordination. The pairs of muscles do not work the way they are supposed to in a normal person and this causes the muscles to be constantly tense (or spastic). Muscle lengthening can also occur.
How to keep Spasticity under control?
Technically, it is a brain disorder and the brain will not change over time. However, the tension in the muscles can get worse over time which can cause the condition to be progressive. This is why treatment for Spasticity often includes –
- Several Techniques
- Multiple Therapies
that work the muscles to try to keep them from becoming more spastic with time.
Children born with Spasticity will not have deformities in the arms and legs but they can develop them over time because of joint contracture. Another problem with this health issue is that the effects of this condition can increase with anxiety or exerted effort. Part of the treatment often involves learning to de-stress and relax, particularly during physical training sessions to avoid excessive fatigue.
Effect of Spasticity
Spasticity affects the entire family of the child with the condition. There are treatments available but no current cure. Studies are being conducted each and every day to find better ways of treating and curing all types of CP. Parents will need to remain calm and patient while they try to help their child, although the condition can be very frustrating for everyone involved.
Your child’s doctor will talk to you about which treatment options are best for you.
- They can vary according to your child’s symptoms and severity. Sometimes oral medications are given, but there is some disagreement about whether or not this actually helps.
- Another option is to use a pump inserted in the abdomen for painkiller infusion direct to the muscles to help reduce muscle spasticity. This has proven more effective.
Another treatment which is still relatively new is Botox injections to the spastic muscles of the patient to help relax the affected muscles. This usually lasts about 3 to 4 months and has shown some improvement in some patients, depending on the severity of the symptoms. Orthopedic surgery is another option that is sometimes used. When you know more about spastic cerebral palsy, it will help you to help your child or loved one with the condition. You will then have the knowledge to help them with their treatment options as well as a normal way of life.