• David A. Gelber
Part of the Current Clinical Neurology book series (CCNEU)


Spasticity develops as a consequence of central nervous system (CNS) lesions that affect descending tracts in the brain and spinal cord that normally inhibit spinal-reflex pathways (1). This results in a velocity-dependent increase in muscle tone (spasticity) and is often accompanied by an increase in muscle-stretch reflexes, abnormal cutaneous and autonomic reflexes, muscle weakness, poor dexterity, painful spasms, and co-contraction of agonist and antagonist muscles (2,3). Treatment of spasticity is generally considered when it results in pain, or interferes with functional activities, such as ambulation, transfers, posture, and hygiene (4,5). Medications, such as tizanidine, are often used to manage spasticity, when more conservative interventions, such as nursing cares, physical therapy, splints, and orthoses have been ineffective (6).


Multiple Sclerosis Muscle Spasm Spinal Cord Injury Patient Dantrolene Sodium British Medical Research Council 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

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  • David A. Gelber

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