What is Spinal cord injury spasticity?
After spinal cord injury your body starts behaving in a different manner and you face different problems one of which is Spinal cord injury spasticity. It is a sudden contraction, jerk or stiffness of muscles or movements and stiffness of leg joint after spinal cord injury. It happens mostly to quadriplegics than paraplegics.
Why spasticity occurs?
Before spinal cord injury whenever there is any painful stimulus in any part of the body then messages from that part of the body travel to brain and then the brain reacts according. But some reactions are fast in which spinal cord play key part without involvement of brain for example, sudden movement of hands when it touches a hot surface and you feel the hot sensation later, such actions are known as reflex action. As after spinal cord injury, messages don’t travel to brain so whenever there is a painful stimulus or some kind of irritation below injury then reflex action will happen which is now known as Spinal cord injury spasticity.
Symptoms of Spinal cord injury spasticity
After spinal cord injury it is not very difficult to know that you are having attacks of spastic muscles. Your legs will start sudden movement and will bend or straighten. If you are quadriplegic, your chest, belly and hand muscles will contract.
Causes of spasticity
Any thing that caused you irritation or pain would now cause spastic muscles. It mostly occurs when you move your legs or hands. You have uti, pressure sores or constipation. If you are a quadripledic then it will even occur by taking deep breath.
Usefulness of Spinal cord injury spasticity
As after spinal cord injury you are unable to move your body parts voluntarily and they move only due to spasticity which has some advantages. It gives exercise to muscles and joints which helps in maintaining muscle and bone mass. It sometimes helps in daily activities like transfer and changing clothes. In quadriplegia it helps in making hand grip. It tells you that something in some part of the body is wrong and you need to correct it.
Harms of Spinal cord injury spasticity
Spastic muscles have certain disadvantages. It gives you pain and make daily activities like transfer, sitting in wheelchair etc difficult. In quadriplegia it makes opening of hand grip difficult for picking something. Sleeping at night becomes difficult due to it and at morning one feels tired. It can injure legs due to movement and rubbing with bed and other things which results in pressure sores.
Muscles spasticity treatment
Natural treatment for spinal cord injury spasticity is to have an active life style, do stretching and range of motion exercise. Standing on tilting table also helps a lot. One should take great care of cleanliness and save himself from uti and pressure sores. One should also avoid touching skin with hot and cold objects. All these help in preventing spasms in spinal cord injury patients. But if the problem is severe then the following medicines can also be used on advice of doctor like baclofen (Lioresal), clonazepam (Klonopin), dantrolene (Dantrium), diazepam (Valium), or tizanidine (Zanaflex).
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