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 Spasticity Management Program

The Spasticity Management Program at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center provides comprehensive care for people with spasticity and various dystonias. Spasticity is stiff or tight muscles with exaggerated reflexes that can make it difficult to move, walk or speak. Spasticity is common in people with diseases of the nervous system or those who have suffered damage to the part of the brain that controls voluntary movement.

Our Patients

We provide comprehensive care and rehabilitation for patients with:

  • Brain injury
  • Cerebral palsy (a group of chronic conditions affecting body movement and muscle coordination)
  • Hereditary spastic paraparesis (progressive weakness and stiffness of the legs)
  • Multiple sclerosis (chronic disease of the central nervous system)
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Stroke (blocked or bleeding blood vessel in the brain)

Why Choose The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center?

Our rehabilitative care can help improve spasticity and may relieve related symptoms including pain, impaired mobility, disrupted sleep and more. There are many reasons to choose our programs and services:

  • We are a leader in the use of the Baclofen pump for decreasing spasticity. The pump is a programmable device that delivers medication directly to a targeted site in the spinal cord.
  • Our program has a 10-year history of proven results using Botulinum toxin (Botox®) and other injection therapies which relax muscles and reduce excessive muscle contractions. We use electromyography (tests the electrical activity of muscles), or neurostimulator control (delivers mild electrical signals) to guide our injections.
  • Our physical, occupational and speech therapists have extensive experience in the practical application of rehabilitation techniques and interventions for spasticity.
  • We are proud that our Inpatient Rehabilitation Programs at Dodd Hall and Outpatient Medical Rehabilitation Programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). CARF recognized our programs as meeting the highest standards in quality, safety and outcome measures, which provide risk-reduction and accountability in our patient care.
  • For 19 consecutive years, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center's rehabilitation program has been ranked among the best in the country by U.S.News & World Report.
  • Since The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is an academic medical center, you benefit from innovative research, a depth of medical expertise and the newest technologies and treatment techniques available.

Our Services

The Spasticity Management Program offers rehabilitation services to help in each phase of your rehabilitation – from services offered in the hospital (known as inpatient services) to those offered after returning home (known as outpatient services). These services offer a continuum of care to help achieve your highest level of recovery.

Following your physician's referral, our services may include:

  • Medical evaluation
  • Therapy assessment
  • Physical therapy (helps patients improve strength, mobility and fitness)
  • Occupational therapy (helps patients participate in activities of daily living)
  • Oral medicines to help with muscle spasticity
    • Baclofen (Lioresal®)
    • Dantrolene (Dantrium®)
    • Diazepam (Valium®)
    • Tizanidine (Zanaflex®)
    • Baclofen pump therapy
    • Injections of Botulinum (Botox®) toxin A or other neurotoxins
  • Surgery
  • Exercise programs (aerobic and strength-building)
  • Evaluation of splints, casts, braces or other assistive devices to relieve muscle and tendon tightness and modify the influence of various nerve-muscle pathways that contribute to spasticity
  • Evaluation of problems with speech or swallowing as influenced by spasticity, and application of techniques to ease or manage the difficulty

Your Treatment Team

Your team features the combined experience and expertise of multiple specialists:

  • Physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians or physiatrists (specialize in helping people regain body functions lost due to medical conditions or injuries)
  • Neurologists (specialize in disorders of the nervous system)
  • Neurosurgeons (specialize in surgery on the brain and other parts of the nervous system)
  • Anesthesiologists (specialize in administering medication for pain relief)
  • Orthopaedists (specialize in disorders of the skeleton and muscles)
  • Physical therapists (specialize in helping patients achieve maximum strength, balance and mobility)
  • Occupational therapists (specialize in improving patients' ability to complete activities of daily living)
  • Speech-language pathologists (specialize in helping patients improve communication, cognition and swallowing)

Care Locations

Additional Specialized Services

Your rehabilitation team may recommend additional rehab services that may include:

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