Early recognition and treatment of spasticity is important in maximising the return of active function for neurological conditions such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, acquired brain and spinal cord injury.
According to MetroRehab Rehabilitation Physician Dr Helen Redmond, “Any upper motor neuron lesion can lead to muscles becoming tight and contracting involuntarily at rest or during activity. This causes restricted movement, pain, spasms or deformity, and can interfere with the use of the affected limb.”
Recent welcome announcements by the Australian Government mean Medicare now covers botulinum toxin when necessary to treat a condition.
Dr Redmond and MetroRehab Rehabilitation Specialist, Dr Darren Lee, are experienced in spasticity management. Through the hospital’s NeuroRehab Clinic, the doctors use botulinum toxin injections and therapy to relieve symptoms for patients with a broad range of neurological conditions.
“It is important that injections are followed by targeted physical therapy including stretching, strengthening and motor re-learning,” says Dr Redmond. “Splinting, casting and the prescription of orthotics can be part of treatment to maintain benefit from injection therapy and promote good active function.”
“Left untreated, spasticity results in joint contractures making even a simple task such as dressing awkward for both clients and carers. In severe cases, skin can become difficult to clean and berak down with ulceration or infection. Untreated spasticity also leads to pain and treatment alleviates this in many cases.”
The NeuroRehab at MetroRehab is ideally placed to coordinate interventions and subsequent therapies. All treatments are tailored to support clients achieve their personal goals.