Spasticity is a condition where the body’s muscles contract involuntarily, causing tightening, stiffness, cramping, or spasms. According to the American Stroke Association, about 25%-43% of stroke survivors experience spasticity in the first year following their strokes.
Spasticity commonly occurs in the elbow, ankle, or wrist, which can limit daily activities.
Rehabilitation can help manage spasticity. Physical and occupational therapists can provide treatments, specific stretches, and exercises to help keep the muscles as flexible as possible. They also may provide assistive devices, aids, and home modifications for enhanced safety. Speech therapists can help with communication or swallowing issues that may be caused by muscle tightness.
If you’re experiencing spasticity, talk to your physician or healthcare provider about the best treatment options for you.