The possibilities of applications of the physical therapy in the spastic treatment

Sylwia Dziedzic, Anna Straburzyńska-Lupa

Sylwia Dziedzic, Anna Straburzyńska-Lupa – The possibilities of applications of the physical therapy in the spastic treatment. Fizjoterapia Polska 2004; 4(2); 93-99


This article begins with a description of the pathophysiology and symptomatology of spasticity. The pathophysiology of spasticity is complex, depending on interactions between opening and closing, stimulating and inhibiting pathways and centers located both in the spine and above the spine. Spasticity results from dysfunction of the upper motor neuron, i.e. structures lying in the vicinity of the cerebral cortex, the subcortical regions, the brainstem, and the spinal cord, and the numerous connections between them. In the clinical picture of spasticity we can distinguish disturbances in the regulation of muscle tension and strength, difficulties in maintaining body posture, and the occurrence of spastic cramps and clonus. As a consequence of these symptoms the patient may experience pain and limb deformity. The article describes several different methods of evaluating spasticity (including a modified version of the 6-point Ashworth Scale). Based on an extensive review of the literature, the authors discuss various methods of managing spasticity, with particular attention to physicotherapy. Some of these techniques have a mechanism of action that is already well understood and constitute a valuable means to supplement the treatment of spasticity; others are only just being introduced to therapy or are still in the research phase. Among the techniques used in the treatment of spasticity the authors discuss kinesitherapy, thermotherapy, electrotherapy, and magnetotherapy.

Key words:
Physical Medicine, Cryotherapy, electrotherapy
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