Upper Limb Spasticity

Upper limb spasticity is a condition where the muscles of the arms and hands become tense and overactive, resulting in limited movement and an inability to perform basic daily tasks. People suffering from upper limb spasticity experience a number of symptoms, including muscle stiffness, limited movement, inability to relax muscles, pain, changes in limb position, and muscle spasms. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and treatments will vary based on the patient’s specific needs.

Although there are multiple causes for upper limb spasticity, the most common cause is a stroke. Often, signals from the brain to the muscles are disrupted due to damage caused to motor pathways after a stroke, resulting in spasticity. Other conditions causing upper limb spasticity include traumatic brain injuries, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and problems with the spinal cord.

While most people are aware of the use of Botox as a cosmetic treatment, its use as a treatment for patients suffering from upper limb spasticity is less widely known. Botox Injections are FDA approved for the treatment of upper limb spasticity, offering patients relief from their symptoms. Botox injections block nerve receptors in the muscles, causing them to relax while alleviating pain. Although Botox is an effective treatment for upper limb spasticity, it can take time for a patient to feel results. Studies show that patients who received regular Botox treatments, with the help of physical and occupational therapy, showed improved upper limb function after two years of continual treatment. Botox injections are not systemic and therefore can treat upper limb spasticity without risking the development of serious side effects.