Spasticity is a condition that causes tightness or stiffness of the muscles, especially in the arms and legs. It is associated with conditions such as cerebral palsy, brain and spinal cord injury, stroke and multiple sclerosis.
Spasticity can interfere with many aspects of daily living. The most ordinary tasks can become almost impossible for children with severe spasticity. Dressing can take an hour or more. Feeding can be equally time consuming. It may become very difficult for caregivers to help with or perform basic hygiene tasks.
Spasticity can also cause other problems. It can interfere with sleep, lead to pressure sores and/or contractures and cause pain for the child. Severe spasticity can prevent children from reaching their full potential. That is why the Spasticity Management Program was developed: to improve the quality of life for these children and families.
New medical and surgical treatments now address the spasticity directly rather than just the consequences of spasticity, such as bony deformities, ligament weakness, pain and pressure sores.
Program Staff and Services
Our aim is for children with muscle spasticity to achieve an optimum level of functional recovery while providing cost effective outcomes. A comprehensive and individualized approach to treating and managing the child with spasticity is the goal of our multidisciplinary team.
Our team includes:
- Physical medicine and rehabilitation physician
- Pediatric neurologist
- Pediatric physical therapist
- Pediatric occupational therapist
- Pediatric speech therapist
- Registered nurse coordinator
- Social worker
To make a patient referral, please call the nurse coordinator at (512) 324-0137. After a referral is received, the program coordinator will contact the family to schedule an appointment. After the evaluation, we will send a report to the referring physician or healthcare professional and continue to keep them updated on the child’s progress.
It is important for families and healthcare providers to discuss and agree on the goal of treatment of spasticity. Some common goals include reducing painful muscle spasms, to help with sitting or walking, or to just help a child sleep through the night.
The first step in the treatment of spasticity is to determine which option will best improve the life of the patient. Not every method is suitable for everyone, so we take the time to determine the one, or the combination of those, best suited for you and your child. The following are some of the options:
- Rehabilitation services: occupational, physical and speech therapy
- Oral medications
- Orthopedic surgeries
- Neurosurgical procedures
- BOTOX® injections
- Baclofen pump