Mayo Clinic's approach

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.

Expertise and rankings

  • 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.

Locations, travel and lodging

Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.

For more information on visiting Mayo Clinic, choose your location below:

Costs and insurance

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.

Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.

Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.

Jan. 12, 2018
  1. Abrams GM, et al. Chronic complications of spinal cord injury and disease. Accessed Nov. 8, 2014.
  2. NINDS spasticity information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Accessed Nov. 9, 2014.
  3. Khurana SR, et al. Spasticity and the use of intrathecal baclofen in patients with spinal cord injury. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America. 2014;25:655.
  4. Provider profile. CARF International. Accessed Nov. 9, 2014.
  5. Riggin EA. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 17, 2014.
  6. Baker GS. Spinal cord injuries. Minnesota Medicine. 1949;32:1094.

Spasticity management for spinal cord injury