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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.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Barrie J. Hurwitz, MD - Neurology
Current as of March 12, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.