What are the symptoms?

Caucasian female patient holding her clenched fist

A deeper look: Muscle tone, stretch reflex and spasticity

In simple terms, spasticity is increased resistance to passive movement and is caused by prolonged muscle contraction. Muscle tone is a state of tension that is maintained continuously, even when a person is relaxed, and which increases in resistance to passive stretch.

It helps to maintain posture and decreases during sleep. The stretch reflex is a muscle contraction in response to stretching within the muscle. This reflex, by definition extremely fast, exists to allow the muscle to adapt to any kind of muscular tone and change to avoid over-stretching.

In spasticity, the muscle tone is abnormally increased (muscle hypertonia) and reflexes, such as the stretch reflex, may persist for too long and may be too strong (hyperactive reflexes). These phenomena cause an increased resistance to passive movement (e.g. if someone else tries to move the extremities of the person affected).

Spasticity can range from very mild to debilitating and painful. The main symptoms are:


Which rehabilitation devices do you need?

Find out more about the wide array of rehabilitation devices offered to make life easier and help regain some independence when living with spasticity.

Senior caucasian adult couple smiling and holding each other in a field.

Read more about spasticity diagnosis
and assessing its severity

For more information about spasticity, check out our other articles.

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