Spasticity is a form of muscle overactivity that occurs when communication between your brain and spinal cord is disrupted by a spinal cord injury, other injury or illness.

Spasticity has some benefits, such as helping tone muscles. However, spasticity may cause pain, fatigue and other problems. Also, spasticity can become a barrier to your daily activities, walking, sitting, positioning and sleep.

  • Experience. For more than 60 years, Mayo Clinic doctors and staff have helped thousands of people recover from traumatic spinal cord injuries and nontraumatic spinal disorders using many therapies.

    The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) has accredited the Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program at Mayo Clinic's campus in Minnesota.

  • Integrated team. Mayo Clinic's spinal cord injury rehabilitation team is led by doctors trained in physical medicine and rehabilitation, doctors trained in bone and muscle surgery (orthopedic surgeons), and doctors trained in brain and nervous system surgery (neurosurgeons).

    Your treatment team also includes nurses, mental health professionals, physical therapists, occupational and recreational therapists, and other specialists.

  • Individualized care. Your doctors will create an individualized treatment plan to meet your needs. Your treatment team will work with you to determine if spasticity management may help.

    The team considers you and your family to be an integral part of the treatment team, and you'll be informed and involved in making decisions and setting treatment goals.

  • Treatment and follow-up care. Mayo Clinic doctors trained in physical medicine and rehabilitation and other staff offer a full range of spinal cord injury rehabilitation services.

    Your spinal cord injury rehabilitation team provides inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient rehabilitation and lifelong care. Specialists in the Pediatric Rehabilitation Program care for children with spinal cord injuries at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

  • Research. Mayo Clinic researchers study outcomes, rehabilitation options and potential treatments for people with spinal cord injuries and conduct clinical trials.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., is ranked among the Best Hospitals for rehabilitation by U.S. News & World Report.

At Mayo Clinic, we assemble a team of specialists who take the time to listen and thoroughly understand your health issues and concerns. We tailor the care you receive to your personal health care needs. You can trust our specialists to collaborate and offer you the best possible outcomes, safety and service.

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical institution that reinvests all earnings into improving medical practice, research and education. We're constantly involved in innovation and medical research, finding solutions to improve your care and quality of life. Your doctor or someone on your medical team is likely involved in research related to your condition.

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care — and trusted answers — like they've never experienced.

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Mayo Clinic's spinal cord injury rehabilitation team offers several spasticity treatment options, including:

  • Exercises. You may participate in stretching, positioning and exercise activities taught by physical and occupational therapists.
  • Oral medications. Your doctor may prescribe medications given by mouth (orally) that may help reduce your muscle spasticity.
  • Intrathecal therapy. You may have medications administered 24 hours a day into the fluid surrounding your spinal cord through an implantable pump and catheter system. Doctors and staff perform a test dose to determine the effect and benefits of this therapy for each person.
  • Injections. Botulinum toxin (Botox) injections into affected muscles may decrease the muscle signals that cause spasticity. The injections provide temporary relief, allowing you to move and strengthen your muscles. You may have injections every three months.

    Phenol or alcohol injections into your peripheral nerve near the spastic muscles may reduce your muscle spasms.

  • Neurosurgery and orthopedic surgery procedures. Surgical procedures to destroy (ablate) motor nerves of sensory spinal roots may stop the spasticity.

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people. In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Doctors trained in physical medicine and rehabilitation and other staff care for people with spinal cord injuries who may benefit from spasticity management in the Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota.

You'll need a physician's referral to be considered for admission to the inpatient spinal cord injury rehabilitation program or for an appointment in the outpatient program.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 507-538-3270 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

Specialists in the Pediatric Rehabilitation Program care for children with spinal cord injuries who require rehabilitation at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota. Children needing inpatient treatment receive care at Mayo Eugenio Litta Children's Hospital at Mayo Clinic.

Your child will need a physician's referral to be considered for admission to the inpatient program or for an appointment in the outpatient program.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 507-538-3270 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

See information on patient services at the three Mayo Clinic locations, including transportation options and lodging.

Mayo Clinic researchers conduct research in spinal cord injury rehabilitation, including studying spasticity management and other therapies for people with spinal cord injuries. Researchers also study outcomes, new treatment options and other areas related to spinal cord injury rehabilitation. Read more about spinal cord injury and repair.

See a list of publications by Mayo Clinic doctors on spinal cord injury rehabilitation on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine.

Dec. 11, 2014