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Getting rid of spasticity? how?
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Getting rid of spasticity? how?

Does anyone know how to permanently get rid of spasticity? I am not referring to the general muscle relaxants like baclofen or zanaflex or the short term fix of botox or phenol. What I want to know is what do I have to do to get rid of spasticity, I am getting tired of my bicep and finger flexors firing all the time. Should I exercise it constantly to prove to my mind that I can control it willfully? Has anyone successfully gotten rid of their spasticity? Doctors do not seem to know what it takes and some of the therapist forums suggest that if you concentrate hard enough you can overcome this. Dean
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,
Apart from the medications that you have mentioned, Physical therapy regimens may include muscle stretching and range of motion exercises to help prevent shrinkage or shortening of muscles and to reduce the severity of symptoms.
Surgery may be recommended for tendon release or to sever the nerve-muscle pathway.
ref:http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/spasticity/spasticity.htm
Surgery can play a very important role in the treatment of chronic spasticity.Patients with chronic spasticity should have a thorough evaluation of their current level of function.
You can access more information at the following website http://www.mdvu.org/library/disease/spasticity/spa_mst.asp
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241234_tn?1220984156
Sorry about ranting on spasticity. I guess if I look at it objectively I have a mild form, it is just that if I was truly paralyzed and only had to recover function instead of suppressing spasticity/tone first and then work on the paralyzed muscle it would be much easier. I have done both baclofen and zanaflex which didn't help the spasticity at all, just made me tired so I quit them. I have had several rounds of botox which helped with knocking out my bicep so my tricep could start working. Finger flexors were also knocked out but since my finger extensors need to move control to a different spot in my brain that didn't result in any improvement.
I just received the Saebo-flex yesterday, it looks promising, having some problems getting my thumb in the correct position

Found an interesting site Movement Disorder Virtual University that has lots of detail on spasticity. Here is the link http://www.mdvu.org/library/disease/spasticity/spa_mpath.asp
If you follow it down quite a few levels  you can find this
Subject: Incidence and Consequences of Spasticity After Stroke

Date: 2/20/2004

Spasticity affects less than one quarter of stroke victims, according to this study.
Muscle overactivity and its consequences were assessed in 95 patients both immediately after and three months a first-time stroke. Seventy-seven (81%) were initially hemiparetic, of whom 20 had spasticity. Among these 20 patients, 14 had hyperreflexia. Within these patients, 3 had clonus, and 3 had muscle stiffness. Modified Ashworth score was grade 1 in 10 patients, grade 1+ in 7, and grade 2 in 3. None had grades of 3 or 4. At three months, 64 patients (67%) were hemiparetic, and 18 spastic, reflecting 5 whose tone normalized and 3 who became spastic in the interim. The correlation between muscle tone and a range of motor and activity scores was low for most measures at both time points, except for active movements initially, and rapid movement scores and 9-Hole Peg Test scores at three months.
The authors conclude, “spasticity seems to contribute to motor impairments and activity limitations and may be a severe problem for some patients after stroke,” but, given the relatively low numbers of patients with spasticity, they note, “Our findings support the opinion…that the focus on spasticity in stroke rehabilitation is out of step with its clinical importance.  - (they wouldn't say this if they had to recover from spasticity)

Basically since only 25% of stroke survivors have it and most seem to be able to do ADL's, clinical research seems unlikely. So we are on our own unless we can somehow change that mindset. I really disagree with these authors, I want to recover everything , not just good enough for my ADLs

As a final comment, my ADL's are just fine. If I can get past the spasticity I can start doing all the normal stuff I did pre-stroke which is why I am extremely interested in this.
Posted in 6 stroke forums with no positive answers
Dean
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Avatar_f_tn
I SEE IT HAS BEEN SEVERAL YEARS SINCE YOUR POST.  CAN YOU TELL ME HOW YOUR SPASTICITY IS?  I AM NOW IN THE SAME BOAT AS YOU WERE.  I CAN'T FIND ANY INFO ON OVERCOMING IT.
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241234_tn?1220984156
4 years later my spasticity is still the same, My fingers are marginally better I can lay them on my thigh now and they will stay flat. There is no one in the world who knows how to get rid of it. Why should they, it doesn't affect your ADLs and you can practically do everything one-handed.
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241234_tn?1220984156
One would think that you should be able to interrupt the signals telling your muscles to fire. This is why eStim seems stupid, you are sending electrical signals to the antagonist muscles hoping to can fire them stronger than the spastic ones. Why not send electrical signals to your spastic muscles telling them to relax.
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Avatar_f_tn
DO YOU HAVE AN ESTIM?  HAVE YOU TRIED YOUR THEORY OF PUTTING IT ON YOUR SPASTIC MUSCLES?  I HAVE ONE THAT I BOUGHT FOR $100 AND I USE IT ON MY ANTAGONIST MUSCLES IN MY LEG.  WHEN I FIRST GOT OUT OF THE HOSPITAL I WAS ON A FEEDING TUBE AND DESPERATE TO EAT AND DRINK NORMAL.  MY HUSBAND  CUT AN ELECTRO PAD AND TAPED IT TO A TONGUE BLADE AND I STIMMED MY TONGUE, UVULA, AND PALATE.  RIGHT THEN I KNEW I WOULD PASS THE SWALLOW TEST AND THE NEXT DAY I DID.
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241234_tn?1220984156
Yeah, I have an Allegro Medical one, I barely use it. Its much easier to do passive movement with my right hand flexing my left hand fingers open and closed, I can do that anyplace. This is really the depressing part, there is no standard protocol for any stroke therapy, we're all just guinea pigs floundering around.
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Avatar_f_tn
HI DEAN

SORRY, I JUST NOTICED THAT YOU REPLIED TO MY LAST COMMENT.  (AND SORRY FOR TYPING IN CAPS BUT IT IS TOO HARD TO TYPE WITH MY LEFT HAND)

HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT OF SURGERY?  LIKE Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy.  IF MY SPASTICITY DOESN'T IMPROVE QUITE A BIT I WILL DEFINITLY  DO IT AT THE BEGINING OF NEXT YEAR.

AMY
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241234_tn?1220984156
I will never do surgery. When I complained about curled toes to my first doctor his only suggestion was to snip my tendons, not a better AFO with a toe crest and metatarsal pad.  I'm glad I never listened to him because 3 years later I saw my fMRI and the control area for my toes was not dead. I now can wiggle my toes, it just took 3 years to reroute new neurons around the dead white matter to connect my motor cortex back up again. My toes still curl somewhat but much better. Spasticity is a brain problem and the solution is in the brain, unless contractures have set in.
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Avatar_f_tn
I WENT TO SEVERAL DR.'S AND THEY TOLD ME TO WAIT SINCE MY ACCIDENT WAS ONLY 1 1/2 YEARS AGO.  YOU MUST HAVE HAD A SURGERY HAPPY DR.
CAN YOU WALK BETTER NOW THAT YOU CAN WIGGLE YOUR TOES?  I CAN SOMETIMES MOVE MY TOES BUT I HAVE TO TRY REAL HARD.  I'M NOT GOING TO DO ANY MORE BOTOX .  I'M HOPING THAT IS PART OF MY PROBLEM SINCE IT NUMBS THE NERVES.  MY HUSBAND MADE ME A LITTLE TOE BRACE THAT HOLDS MY TOE STRAIGHT.  IT IS BASICALLY A VELCRO STRAP GLUED TO AN AH STICK
(FAT POPSICLE STICK THAT DRS USE)   ABOUT 3 IN LONG.  HE ALSO PUT SOME OF THE SQUISHY metatarsal pad TYPE STUFF ON IT.
DO YOU GET WEIRD PAIN FROM HAVING YOUR BRACE OR SHOES ON?  AFTER A WHILE MY TOE OR TOP OF FOOT FEELS SUPER HOT.  I'M SURE IT IS JUST NERVES BUT IT HURTS LIKE HELL.  SOMETIMES IT DOESN'T HAPPEN FOR A LONG TIME BUT OTHER TIMES IT WILL HAPPEN AFTER AN HOUR.
ALSO, DO OR DID YOU CONSTANTLY LOOK DOWN WHEN YOU WALK?  WHAT IS THAT ALL ABOUT?  I FEEL LIKE THERE IS A STRING TIED TO MY HEAD AND IT PULLS IT MY HEAD DOWN.  I DON'T HAVE ANY PROBLEM LIFTING MY HEAD BUT LIKE A BAD HABIT IT WANTS TO LOOK DOWN.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi hunny, Get a hyperbaric chamber. You should get a portable hyperbaric chamber because going to the place its like a lot of money.

Check this out
http://theregenerativemedicine.com/Hyperbaric_Oxygen.html



It says -

Cerebrovascular accidents (stroke): The reported rate of improvement is 40% to 100%, which is much higher than the natural rate of recovery. It shows a striking reduction in spasticity possibly due to improved function of neurons in affected areas or the brain and secondly to rise of PO2 in the spastic inactive and hypoxic muscle. Additionally there is an improvement in the cognitive and mental performance. The major criticism is that none of the reported studies are random controlled.
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Avatar_m_tn
I did it before and I can walk normalish. Except the spasticity sometimes. I believe stretching works and try cayenne liquid kind so your hand is not so cold.

I'm 24 and I'm a pretty girl and I had a brain hemmorage.I tried hyperbaric chamber 6 years ago, 40 treatments within 2 months. I'm not paralyzed but until now I realized what was spasticity. I do have spatiscity when Im nervous but ususally I'm not that bad. I can open my hand but it's not normal as the other hand.

I cant find any cures for spasticy but then I looked up hyperbaric chamber. I think it will help fabulous but it's a lot of money.

Give it a try, it helped...
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