What is spasticity a symptom of?
The ability of the human to make use of the limb does not entirely rely on the bones and muscle system. The nerve system plays a big role in engaging the limb movement and controlling it. When either of the body systems is disturbed, a person may not be able to walk or do things like any other normal person would. In some cases, a person may be left with the only option of just lying down in bed. Finding a doctor would be the best way to understand how to improve this condition.
One of the symptoms that is associated with the above condition is spasticity. Spasticity is defined as a condition of a stiff muscle or tightened one. In return, this causes movement problems as it is restricted. The muscle continuously becomes contracted and resistance can be felt when attempting to stretch it. These cause impairment of movement, walking and speech ability. Spasticity occurs when the brain and spinal cord responsible for muscle controls and reflexes is damaged or disrupted. Such disruptions cause imbalance of nerve signalling to the muscle which ends up in muscle and reflexes locking in place.
Spasticity can be harmful to children as it results in growth problems, painful and deformed joints. Although spasticity as a whole may seem to only bring bad things to a person, they are proven to be beneficial to some people. Spasticity may help a person to stand and walk easily, to pinch and grip objects better. It also helps to strengthen muscle and prevent muscle wasting. In some research, spasticity is found to help with improving blood circulation and lowering risk for osteoporosis. Knowing the upside of the spasticity might give some relief to those living with spasticity and to not entirely deem it as a curse.
Hence, what is spasticity a symptom of? There are countless diseases or medical conditions relating to spasticity. This includes stroke, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis and other neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease. Apart from these debilitating medical conditions, spasticity can be a way of the body telling there is infection happening. Bladder and lung infection are among the common triggers for spasticity. Since not all infections may cause the classic symptoms of pain and itchiness, spasticity serves as an early warning sign that something is off within the body.
You will be surprised to know that spasticity might even happen without any disease. When the skin is irritated because you were wearing too tight clothes or simply because of some irritant in contact with the skin, this will trigger the spasticity symptoms. Thus, spasticity can actually vary to a very wide degree from one to another person. A person could just be having mild stiffness or tightened muscle to a painful and uncontrollable spasms.
It is important to seek medical care when the spasticity happens without any known cause, the spasticity becomes worse and frequent or it causes pain to the extent of limiting the ability to manage daily tasks. If left untreated, spasticity can lead to frozen joints and pressure ulcers to the skin due to the pressure from the hard surface of the bed or wheelchair piercing the skin. To avoid an ongoing spasticity is to identify the triggers and to eliminate it. Triggers include skin issues, certain types of drugs, devices-related issues such as poor fit orthotic and other medical issues such as infection, constipation and formation of kidney stones (calculi). Medication and surgery along with therapy can greatly provide good quality of life to those experiencing spasticity on a regular basis.