Our Services / Spasticity

General Neurology located in Albuquerque, NM

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Unusual muscle stiffness and pain can be a warning sign of spasticity. To prevent the loss of your mobility and other complications spasticity can cause, Timothy Ownbey, DO, offers customized treatment plans at Neurology Specialists of Albuquerque. Dr. Ownbey uses advanced diagnostic technologies to assess the severity of your condition. He also works closely with you on a treatment plan to relax overly tight muscles with physical therapy, medications, and minimally invasive procedures like Botox®. Call the office in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to schedule a spasticity consultation or book an appointment online today.

Spasticity Q & A

What is spasticity?

Spasticity is a condition that describes a persistent stiffening or tightness in the muscles. When you can’t move your muscles properly, you may have difficulty walking, moving, or speaking. 

The cause of spasticity is usually damage in the area of your brain or spinal cord that controls your muscles and reflexes. This can cause an imbalance in the signals that travel between your muscles and brain. 

You may be at increased risk for developing spasticity if you have:

  • Brain injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Cerebral palsy 
  • Multiple sclerosis

Without treatment, spasticity can interfere with your mobility and lead to complications like frozen joints, pressure sores, chronic constipation, and urinary tract infections. 

When should I seek medical care for spasticity?

You should schedule a diagnostic evaluation at Neurology Specialists of Albuquerque if you experience symptoms of spasticity like muscle tightness or stiff joints for the first time or if your existing symptoms worsen. 

Dr. Ownbey offers physical exams and neurological testing to evaluate your spasticity symptoms and their severity. You may also need magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or other diagnostic imaging tests to identify the location of damage in your brain or spinal cord.

After your testing is complete, Dr. Ownbey customizes a care plan to address your existing spasticity symptoms and lower your risk for additional complications. 

How is spasticity treated?

Your treatment plan for spasticity depends on the severity of your symptoms and your overall quality of life. Dr. Ownbey tailors a treatment plan to your needs that may include one or more therapies like:

  • Medications
  • Braces
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy

You may also be a candidate for Botox therapy to temporarily paralyze spastic muscles and prevent involuntary contractions. If injection therapy is ineffective, Dr. Ownbey may recommend rhizotomy, a minimally invasive procedure to destroy selective nerve roots that trigger pain. This approach is often a part of treating spasticity from cerebral palsy.

Intrathecal baclofen therapy (IBT) involves surgery to place a pump into your abdomen. The pump delivers medications into your spinal fluid to relax your muscles and keep you free of pain. This treatment may be necessary for people with severe spasticity symptoms.

You can expect to schedule routine checkups, so Dr. Ownbey can monitor your spasticity symptoms and the effectiveness of your treatment.

To learn more about the available treatment options for spasticity, call Neurology Specialists of Albuquerque or book an appointment online today.