Page 19 - Mobility Management, February 2018
P. 19

                                 Managing This Common Condition Can Greatly Impact Function, Quality of Life
By Laurie Watanabe
hances are good that you regularly see presentations of spasticity in clients as you conduct seating and wheeled mobility evaluations. But its familiarity
doesn’t make spasticity easier to work with.
That’s because spasticity can be notoriously dif cult to pin
down. It can manifest differently in clients with the same diagnosis. It can even manifest differently in the same client at different times of the day, or from moment to moment.
At the same time, spasticity can enormously impact a client’s function, seating tolerance and quality of life. Managing spasticity well can go a long way toward seating and wheeled mobility success.
A Common Challenge
Spasticity impacts a number of mobility-related conditions, said Lee Ann Hoffman, OT, MSc.
“It has been estimated that spasticity affects more than 12 million individuals worldwide,” she noted. “There are approximately 400,000 people in the United States with some degree of cerebral
palsy (CP)-related spasticity, and around 320,000 with some degree of multiple sclerosis (MS)-related spasticity (AANS 2017).”
A wide range of diagnoses can result in spasticity, Hoffman added. “In our complex rehabilitation population, several diagnoses present with spasticity, namely spinal cord injury (SCI); anoxic and traumatic brain injury (TBI); cerebrovascular accident (CVA); meningitis; encephalitis; adrenoleukodystrophy; phenylketonuria; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); MS and CP. Complications resulting from these diagnoses and the associated spasticity are commonly noted as, but not limited to, reduced joint range of movement and also asymmetric postures. These factors are often accompanied by pain and discomfort, decreased functional ability, often resulting in changes to independence and quality of life.”
The Hows & Whys of Spasticity
Complicating the spasticity challenge is that the condition varies in presentation, said Wade Lucas, PT, DPT, ATP, Clinical Education Manager in the Western U.S. for Quantum Rehab.
ATP Series
Spasticity & Seating

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