Spasticity

Sravani Mehta, MD -  - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Brain and Stroke Care

Sravani Mehta, MD

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation & Brain Injury Medicine located in Nashville, TN

Spasticity is a muscle disorder that can affect anyone who has suffered nerve damage due to a stroke, traumatic brain injury, or medical condition, such as cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis. At Brain and Stroke Care: Sravani Mehta, MD, you receive specialized care designed to manage your spasticity. As a highly experienced expert in spasticity, Dr. Mehta helps each patient achieve maximum relief and optimal function. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Nashville, Tennessee, or use the online booking feature.

Spasticity Q & A

What is spasticity? 

Spasticity develops when prolonged muscle contraction leads to tight, stiff muscles. The condition occurs when nerve impulses that normally control muscle movement are damaged. The damaged nerves may be in your brain or spinal cord, or in the motor nerves that carry messages from the spinal cord to specific muscles.

To learn more go to Dr. Mehta's educational site for patients, families, and providers: brainandstrokerehab.org

Medical conditions that may cause spasticity include:

  • Stroke
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Spinal-cord injury
  • Encephalitis
  • Meningitis
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

For many patients, the abnormal muscle tightness interferes with movement, including their ability to walk and talk.

What symptoms can spasticity lead to?

Spasticity can lead to a variety of symptoms ranging from mild tightness to severe, painful muscle spasms that often occur in the legs and arms. These are the most common symptoms: 

  • Muscle stiffness
  • Joint stiffness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Involuntary jerky movements
  • Exaggerated reflexes
  • Unusual posture
  • Difficulty moving

You may also develop spasticity in the muscles needed to speak or develop unusual movements like involuntarily crossing your legs. Some patients develop complications such as urinary tract infections, chronic constipation, fevers, and pressure sores.

What is the treatment for spasticity? 

Dr. Mehta works closely with each patient, developing a treatment plan to relax their muscles, reduce pain and stiffness, restore movement, and prevent frozen joints or permanent joint injury. She chooses from among many possible therapies to provide optimal improvement, including:

Botox® injections for spasticity after stroke and brain injury

Botox temporarily blocks nerve transmissions that trigger muscle contractions. As a result, the treated muscles relax and spasticity and spasms are significantly reduced.

Oral medications

Several medications have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to treat mild to moderate muscle spasticity and decrease pain.

Physical medicine

As a specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation, Dr. Mehta excels at helping patients with a regimen of stretching and strengthening. She uses numerous therapeutic modalities to restore maximum function. 

Nerve blocks

Nerve blocks relieve spasticity by stopping the nerve signals responsible for stimulating muscle contraction and overactivity.

Dr. Mehta is an expert in the field of spasticity treatment who utilizes the full range of care, as well as alternative therapies such as medical acupuncture. To learn more about how she can help you, call Brain and Stroke Care: Sravani Mehta, MD, or schedule an appointment online.