Spasticity Clinic at Loma Linda University Health Care

Spasticity Clinic

The Spasticity Clinic has been established for specialized evaluation and management of patients who are chronically disabled by spasticity.

What is spasticity?

Spasticity is a condition affecting muscles, and causes increased muscle rigidity and stiffness with restriction of movement. Spasticity can occur with or without paralysis or muscle weakness. Spastic paralysis is the inability to move a part of the body accompanied by rigidity of the muscles; which may hold the limb frozen in one position.

What causes spasticity?

Spasticity develops as a complication of many common conditions. Some of the frequent causes of spasticity are:

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Brain Injury
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Stroke

What is the purpose of the clinic?

The purpose of the clinic is to provide specialized medical evaluation of patients with spasticity, and to improve the physical function of patients through carefully planned treatment. A diverse range of treatments is offered, from simple therapy to new sophisticated technologies.
Therapies for spasticity
There are many different forms of treatment used to reduce spasticity, and each has its particular value for specific kinds of problems. Some of the treatments for spasticity are:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Use of splints or casts
  • Local nerve blocks
  • Phenol Intramuscular Neurolysis
  • Intramuscular Botulinum (Botox) Injections
  • Medication
  • Intrathecal Baclofen Therapy (ITB)

The Intrathecal Baclofen Therapy (ITB) is a new form of therapy involving use of a pump which is surgically implanted and slowly infuses the drug Baclofen into the spinal fluid. The drug is very effective in reducing spasticity because it is delivered directly to the nerve cells in the spinal cord responsible for the spasticity. The drug achieves muscle relaxation through inhibition of certain nerve cells in the spinal cord responsible for the spasticity.

The Intrathecal Baclofen Therapy (ITB) was developed by Medtronic, Inc., and has been used for over six years in treating patients with Spinal Cord Injuries and Multiple Sclerosis. It has recently been approved for use in patients with Cerebral Palsy, Brain Injuries and Strokes. The system is programmed by an external computer to dispense the drug precisely and accurately based on the needs of each patient. The implantable pump's reservoir needs to be refilled only once every one to three months.

For appointments, call (909) 558-6277. For further question, call Donna Darnell, RN, at (909) 558-6213 or Paddy Garvin, RN at (909) 558-4000, extension 45645.

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