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Spasticity

BackBoneHeadBackBoneHead Member Posts: 4
Photogenic First Comment
Hi Nurse Linda -

Other than medications, what other ways can I improve, or return my spasticity/tone back to normal? I’m currently doing therapy exercises and stretching, but the progress is very slow. Thanks for your help. 
Be Nicer. Be Smarter. And, Always Follow Your Bliss.

Comments

  • AskNurseLindaAskNurseLinda Moderator, Information Specialist Posts: 124 Information Specialist
    100 Comments 25 Likes First Answer Name Dropper
    Hi, BackBoneHead, Tone, such an issue. Stretching, therapy and positioning is a great start. These all stretch the muscles which tires the nerve which slows the tone. But sometimes, tone just gets too active which sounds like you are in that spot.

    Oral medications travel throughout the body so many people do not like to take those.

    Some individuals with try warm packs or warm towels on the area of tone. Warm-not hot-to avoid burns. But it sounds like you might be needing something more?

    Since you are in therapy, see if you are medically able to try standing therapy. This puts weight through your bones and muscles often fatiguing the muscles and reducing tone. You will need to know if your bone density is strong enough for standing, hips in alignment, etc. In other words, medical clearance. Most payors allow for a standing frame in your home if the therapy works. Even if it does not reduce your tone, the benefits to your general health are great.

    A local treatment of botox can calm the muscle which helps. Still, that is a medication but it provides great results. You do have to have the treatments repeated as the botox only lasts for 4-6 months on average. It is an injection or rather a series of injections. For severe cases of tone a baclofen pump can be placed which bathes your spinal cord with baclofen medication to reduce tone. It is a higher concentration of baclofen in the pump than what goes through your system orally, however, it stays in the spinal canal and does not travel full strength through your body.

    Another option is electrical stimulation to the specific area of the tone. Since you are in therapy, you can inquire about an estim device that might treat your tone. You will need to have the therapist check with your payor to make sure it is covered. Your therapist will have to teach you how to use it. You do not just want to place it without knowing where and how to set the device as you do not want to do damage to yourself. In your therapy setting, there is probably a device that your therapist can try to make sure it works for you. If your insurance does not cover it and your healthcare provider approves the treatment for you, there are some outlets online where you can purchase one directly. They are not inexpensive but not out of reach price wise for many people. Don't buy before your try it or it could be a waste for you.

    Other people have tried some alternative or complementary treatments of message, acupuncture and biofeedback. I get mixed reviews on these therapies. Generally, they seem to be more beneficial with lighter cases of tone. Since therapy and stretching is not totally effective, these probably are not what you need but they are non-medication treatments. Before attempting these, make sure you do not have any blood clots or deep vein thrombosis as you do not want to dislodge a clot.

    There are a few ideas. I will be curious as what you try and how it works out. Nurse Linda

    I'm online in this community every Wednesday from 8-9 PM ET to answer your SCI and paralysis related questions.

    Leave a comment any time below. Let's get the discussion going!

    Nurse Linda

    Register for my next webchat! Sign up here!

  • BackBoneHeadBackBoneHead Member Posts: 4
    Photogenic First Comment
    Thanks Nurse Linda. I guess tone is just another one of the many hurdles to overcome during SCI recovery. 

    FYI, I’m a year and three months into my therapy and recovery efforts. I’ve gone from quad and Cord Syndrome to walking and utilizing my arms and hands. Still have a long way to go, but we’re getting there, one baby step at a time. Patience is key... Tone/spasticity and lack of sensation are my biggest hurdles now. 

    Thanks again. I will update you as the “tone battle” progresses. 
    Be Nicer. Be Smarter. And, Always Follow Your Bliss.
  • AskNurseLindaAskNurseLinda Moderator, Information Specialist Posts: 124 Information Specialist
    100 Comments 25 Likes First Answer Name Dropper
    Keep at it, BackBoneHead. You are doing it. The nervous system wants to regenerate itself. You are doing it. Nurse Linda

    I'm online in this community every Wednesday from 8-9 PM ET to answer your SCI and paralysis related questions.

    Leave a comment any time below. Let's get the discussion going!

    Nurse Linda

    Register for my next webchat! Sign up here!

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