Often referred to as a feeling of “stiffness”, Spasticity is a condition in which muscles remain contracted for an extended period of time. It can range from a feeling of mild tightness of the muscles to painful muscle spasms that are uncontrollable. It can be painful or painless and may result in involuntary movements of the limbs. This can prevent muscles from being stretched which results in trouble with movement and possibly speech. This is a common complaint in patients with Multiple sclerosis and is often treated with muscle relaxant drugs like Baclofen. In this article, I will be discussing clinically-proven natural remedies for spasticity.
Keep in mind that spasticity is more of a symptom and not a disease.
Spasticity is a symptom in various neurological disorders such as:
– Multiple Sclerosis
– Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
– Cerebral Palsy
– Brain Injuries
– Spinal Cord Injuries, etc.
Symptoms of Spasticity
– Stiffness of muscles
– Spasms of muscles
– Issues with muscular growth
– Deformities of muscles and joints
– Involuntary movements
What causes spasticity
In order for a muscle contraction to occur, the brain sends a signal to the muscle and triggers a series of physiological activities that results in the movements of the muscle filaments which causes the muscle fibers to contract. Spasticity occurs due to problems with the signal being sent from the central nervous system to the muscle – this is usually due to damage or some sort of event that affects the area of the brain and/or spine that controls muscle reflexes.
How To Treat Spasticity
Firstly, it is important to address the cause of spasticity by treating, improving, and/or reducing the progression of any underlying condition responsible for this symptom.
Given that this is an issue with nerve function and muscle contractions, the first thing that comes to mind is Magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral and electrolyte that plays a crucial role in nerve conductivity, signaling, muscle relaxation, and overall neuromuscular transmission. Magnesium has been proven to improve the way that cardiac and skeletal muscles work by treating angina and cramps. From a neurological perspective, these symptoms have similar pathophysiology (on one end) to that of spasticity. It has also proven to be highly beneficial in the treatment of fibromyalgia. When it comes to spasticity, oral consumption of magnesium was able to significantly improve muscle spasticity and constipation in children with spastic cerebral palsy (See study).
Threonine is an amino acid that plays a significant role in keeping connective tissue and muscles elastic and strong. It is found in large amounts within the cardiac muscles – this comes as no surprise given that the heart is a muscle that never stops working. There is also evidence that Threonine increases the amount of glycine that enters the brain which plays a key role in inhibitory synapses from the spinal cord. In clinical research, Threonine was able to suppress the signs of spasticity in patients with familial spastic paraparesis (see study) as well as spinal spasticity (see study) and multiple sclerosis (see study).
Acupuncture is an ancient healing practice that originates in Chinese Medicine. It is used for treating pain but has also proven to be highly beneficial in other conditions as well. It is believed to improve the flow of energy through the body and stimulate healing. Acupuncture is done by penetrating the skin with tiny needles at certain points on the body. In clinical research, Acupuncture was able to improve pain, spasticity, and sensory loss in patients with Multiple Sclerosis (see study) as well as cognitive function, spasticity, and motor function in children with spastic cerebral palsy (see study). It was also found to be effective in reducing spasticity after a stroke in another study (see study).
To book a consultation with me, click here
(Always use medicinal herbs under the supervision of a doctor)
by Dr. Nishal R.
Copyright © 2020