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8.17. Spasticity

Spastic Hypertonia (27 minutes)This University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) provided video defines Spastic Hypertonia (aka spasticity), explaining the advantages vs disadvantages of spasticity, and general treatment options if desired. Also offers a general understanding of sensation and reflex.

Spasticity and Spinal Cord Injury

Part 1: The Good, The Bad, and The Not-So-Ugly: Medical and Pharmacological Treatments for Spasticity

By Rina Reyes, MD, Amy Icarangal, PT, and Geralyn Bertellotti, OT.
Presented on January 13, 2015

Spasticity in spinal cord injury is often viewed as a cause of dysfunction and pain. But there is more to it than that. This SCI Forum presentation explored the positive effects of spasticity ("the good"), the negative effects ("the bad"), the neutral effects ("the not so ugly"), and a variety of interventions for spasticity. A rehabilitation medicine physician, a physical therapist, and an occupational therapist summarized the causes of spasticity and discussed a variety of conventional and non-conventional treatment options. Watch the video or read the report.

Part 2: Real Life Stories: A Panel Discussion

Presented on February 10, 2015

Spasticity is an almost universal complication of spinal cord injury, but the way it manifests itself varies enormously from person to person. In this forum, four individuals with SCI share their unique experiences with spasticity since their injuries, what treatments they have tried over the years, and how they are managing their spasticity now. The discussion is moderated by Dr. Jeanne Hoffman, UW professor and clinical psychologist in the UW Department of Rehabilitation Medicine.


Intrathecal Baclofen Therapy for Management of Spasticity, University of Washington Medical Center, is now available on our NWRSCSC website as streaming video and written report.  This 85 minute talk provides in-depth information about when to consider an implanted, programmable baclofen pump for spasticity management; the process of being evaluated for this treatment; the potential advantages, limitations, and drawbacks to the pump; and requirements to maintain a baclofen pump. A panel of individuals (two with spinal cord injury and one with MS) who have an implanted baclofen pump discuss their reasons for choosing the device and what the experience has been like for them.


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