Spasticity in children

23rd August 2012 by Louise Hudman

This guideline is really aimed at the ‘Network Teams’ (ie multidisciplinary) involved in caring for these children. There were a few things that I was not aware of. Though they won’t alter our practice much, it may give a better appreciation of the treatments patients may be having. The drug treatments and ‘Hip Migration’ are worth reading if nothing else.

Consequences of spasticity:

  • Impaired motor function
  • Delayed motor development
  • Spasms are often painful
  • The contractures and spasms can make care difficult

Contractures are caused by muscle shortening, but this can be exacerbated by immobility or scarring, which is why treatment of spasticity is so important. Treatments include stretches (both active and passive), constraint induced movement therapy (where the ‘good’ limb is immobilised to encourage use of the ‘bad’ limb), orthoses, drugs and surgery.

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