Are there symptoms/appearances which can be confused with spasticity? Are they treated in the same way as spasticity?

Spasticity is the result of a lesion in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). Increase of muscle tones can be caused by other reasons, for example by Parkinson´s disease, due to lack of electrolyte (especially calcium, magnesium, sodium), metabolic disorders and by tetanus.

The treatment of increased muscle tone always depends on its cause. For example, in the case of a Parkinson’s disease dopamine is missing. The result is an increased tension in the extensor and flexor muscles. This type of muscle stiffness is treated with drugs that increase the level of dopamine in the brain.

A lack of electrolytes can lead to prolonged, painful muscle twitching, similar to spasticity. Once missing minerals are replaced, the troubles will disappear.

During metabolic diseases (both congenital or acquired), disturbances in anaerobic and aerobic energy metabolism can lead to muscle cramps. The therapeutic goal is to normalize the metabolism.

Tetanus has become rare due to existing vaccinations. These are important because in most cases the infectious disease is fatal. The toxins of the tetanus-triggering bacterium Clostridium tetani attack the muscle-controlling nerve cells and cause severe muscle cramps. There is no real causal treatment so far. The best prevention is immunisation with a tetanus vaccine.

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