Current Challenges to Clinical Assessment of Spasticity

Chetan Purushottam Phadke, Farooq Ismail, Chris Boulias


A high prevalence of spasticity in patients with a variety of upper motor neuron lesions has been reported and spasticity assessments and treatments have been the focus of several recent research articles. It is important for researchers based in non-clinical settings, who are designing scales to measure spasticity, to understand the nuances of the challenges facing clinicians involved in spasticity management. Likewise, it is also important for clinicians to understand the need for objectivity and systematic approach to measuring spasticity that is at once valid and reliable. This paper summarizes the challenges clinicians face when using clinical tools for spasticity assessments, presents variety of lab-based measures available to clinicians, and describes the pros and cons of each approach. Finally, information on devices to measure spasticity that can satisfy both clinical as well as research demands are presented with areas for future work.


Muscle spasticity; Botulinum toxin; Spinal reflexes

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