Spasticity and dystonia are two neurological conditions with a broad range of clinical manifestations that can emerge at any age. Although the spasticity and dystonia symptoms are caused by different pathophysiological mechanisms, both of them may cause functional impairment that contributes to a poor quality of life. Spasticity is characterised by a velocity-dependent increase in tonic stretch reflexes with exaggerated tendon jerks, resulting from hyperexcitability of the stretch reflex. It mostly occurs in disorders of the central nervous system (CNS) affecting the upper motor neurons, such as multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, cerebrovascular diseases, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, stroke, and spinal cord injury. Therapeutic options may combine, in various proportions, physical therapy, occupational therapy, self-rehabilitation, the use of orthoses and assistive devices, drug treatment, orthopaedic surgery, and neurosurgery. Dystonia is defined as a syndrome of involuntary movement that manifests as excessive muscle contractions that frequently cause twisting and repetitive movements or abnormal postures. It is often intensified or exacerbated by physical activity, and symptoms may progress into adjacent muscles. Dystonia has many different manifestations and causes, and many different treatment options are available. These options include physical and occupational therapy, oral medications, intramuscular injection of botulinum toxins, and neurosurgical interventions.
Part of the book: Neurostimulation and Neuromodulation in Contemporary Therapeutic Practice