What Is Mild Spasticity?

22 August 2017

When the muscles in the wrist remain stiff and constantly contracting, the wrist can perform involuntary movements. This is known as spasming of the muscle, which occurs as a result of a condition known as spasticity.

Depending on the development of the condition, spasticity of the wrist can range from mild to severe. It can manifest as a result of both prominent and underlying factors, and methods of treating the condition can vary in accordance with the frequency and intensity of the symptoms. They can range from extreme muscle spasming, as is the case with severe spasticity, to an uncomfortable and painful feeling of tight muscles, as is often the case with mild spasticity.

To help you better understand mild spasticity, we at WristSupports.co.uk have developed this concise guide to the causes and symptoms of mild spasticity, as well as some of the approaches to managing and treating the condition.

What Is Mild Spasticity?

Mild spasticity is the term given to milder cases of tightened muscles, which can target the muscles in the wrist. The contracted muscles may bring about spasms as a result of motor neuron legions, which cause an increase in muscle tone that will result in abnormal rigidity. 

These tight muscles can begin to involuntary contract as a result of the sudden increase in muscle tension, and can be identified by a sudden flexion or extension of the wrist. This is known as a muscle spasm, with the wrist jolting unexpectedly as if reacting to a shock.

Who Can Develop Mild Spasticity?

Mild spasticity can occur as a result of developing and persisting conditions such as cerebral palsy, where stiff muscles can be uncomfortable and even cause the joints to jerk. If injury to the spinal cord has occurred, this can also cause spasticity to surface due to the damage of upper motor neurons causing an exaggerated reflex.

Unexpected injuries and illnesses can also bring about mild spasticity. For example, anybody who has suffered from a stroke is susceptible to spasticity, particularly in the arms. Athletes can also develop the condition due to the gradual tightening of muscles that remain in the new 'normal' permanently contracted positioning.

How Can I Treat Mild Spasticity?

As increased muscle tone can surface as a result of various different conditions and situations, the methods of treatment also vary. The following treatments are just some of the ways in which mild spasticity can be managed, and may, alongside professional medical advice, enable the better management of the condition.

Stretching the Joints

As one of the main symptoms of spasticity involves the involuntary jerking of the joint, stretching out the joints can help to encourage control and develop a healthier range of motion. Stretching can take place as part of physiotherapy, which can also help to reduce motor neuron excitability, which in turn may improve control over the contraction of the muscles.

Massaging the Muscles

Ideal for providing pain relief, massaging the affected muscles can be an effective and relaxing form of treatment. Although it is not likely to restore the muscles to their previous state prior to spasticity, it can help to ease discomfort and, in turn, encourage a more efficient management of the symptoms brought about by mild spasticity.

Supporting the Wrist

For ongoing control and compression of a wrist with mild spasticity, wearing a wrist support or brace can provide varying and adjustable support. As there are a wide range of supports available, they can tend to the varying needs of the condition, while also being able to support the developments of the condition.

Some wrist supports can enable flexion of the wrist for better movement, utilising an adjustable stay or splint for optimal support. Wrist braces can also offer compression and heat retention, which will ease pain and discomfort alongside stabilising and protecting the wrist.

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