Spastic Cerebral Palsy: Learning About Conditions Occupational Therapists May Treat

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By Dr. Frederick B. Covington / The International Institute of Therapeutic Intervention and Learning and Dr. Frederick B. Covington. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common type of cerebral palsy. The muscles of people with spastic cerebral palsy feel stiff and their movements may look stiff and jerky.

Spasticity is a form of hypertonia, or increased muscle tone. This results in stiff muscles which can make movement difficult or even impossible.
  • Muscles appear stiff because the messages to the muscles are sent incorrectly through the damaged part of the brain
  • When a muscle is affected by spasticity, the faster the limb is moved, the stiffer it seems
  • Spasticity arises as a result of damage to bundles of neurons in the brain and spinal cord called the corticospinal tracts and corticobulbar tracts
  • Spasticity is seen in a number of different conditions including cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke and multiple sclerosis
  • People may have difficulty moving from one position to another and controlling individual muscles or muscle groups needed for performing certain tasks like handling objects or speaking

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