Severe Muscle Spasm and Spasticity
Spasticity and muscle spasm are often common in people who suffer spinal injuries. An injury to the spine does not result in immediate spasms, but the spine would suffer a shock (spinal shock) which would take several weeks to heal. During the period of spinal cord healing, the nerves that control the muscle activity also undergo changes resulting in spasms and spasticity.
Severe Muscle Spasm and Spasticity: When the spinal cord suffers an injury, in the follow up period, the connection between the brain and the nerve cells in the spine get disconnected. The reason for this is the scar tissue that develops in the damaged region which tends to block the signals from the spinal cord to the brain.
- Once the spine heals and comes out of the spinal shock, the natural activities and reflexes would automatically reappear. But upon certain stimuli, the reflexes would be exaggerated causing the muscle to contract.
- A person who suffers from a spinal cord injury can very easily develop muscle spasms as even the slightest stretch or a painful stimulant in the damaged region can trigger spasms very easily.
- Also existence of various other complications like kidney infections, bladder infections and skin breakdown can also increase the spasms and spasticity.
Alleviating Muscle Spasms: It has been found that, people who do not exercise regularly tend to develop muscle stiffness and lessen the flexibility of the muscles enabling even the slightest stimulation to trigger spasms.
- In order to alleviate muscle spasms it is necessary to exercise regularly in order to improve the motor activities and help ease muscle stiffness. Excessive spasms can be easily controlled by doing this.
- Avoiding injuries to the legs and feet, avoiding any kidney and bladder infections can be very helpful in reducing spasticity.
- Medications such as valium, baclofen and dantrium can treat spasticity. But, they come with side effects and do not completely cure it.
- The surgery radioactive rhizotomy is also suggested, not often though to treat spasticity.
Severe muscle spasm and spasticity can be anywhere between mild and severe in people who suffer from spinal cord injuries.