I went on Google to find the best description of spasticity and was rather amazed at what I read. My memory is not the best so I guess I already knew what it meant but was in dire need of a refresher course in understanding something I live through every day of my life! OK, so here is what it means and why it makes me laugh. I owe my "kick-ass" calves to spasticity. Hey, it had so be good for something, right? I got all this information from About.com, if anyone would like to go there for more info.
- Extensor Spasms: these happen when a limb, usually a leg, stiffens and the person is unable to bend the joint. These cause the limb, usually a leg, to jerk away from the body. It usually affects the quadriceps (the large muscles on the front thigh), causing the lower leg to straighten.
- Flexor Spasms: this type of spasm causes a limb to contract, or bend, toward the body. This type of spasm almost always affects the legs, especially the hip flexors.
- Clonus: this is when muscles jerk or twitch repeatedly. The most common forms of clonus is when a person's foot taps rapidly and repetitively on the floor or knee or ankle jerk repeatedly after stimulation (such as tapping at the joint), rather than the normal response of one tap or jerk.
- Adductor Spasms: these are more rare. These spasms cause a person's legs to close together tightly, making it difficult to separate them.
- Stiffness: this can be thought of as mild spasticity. While not as dramatic as some of the forms of spasms described above, when muscles are slow to relax, it can cause problems walking or using the hands and fingers to perform delicate movements. In some cases, the stiffness may not pose a huge problem. In other cases, the spasticity can cause problems with mobility or be painful enough to interfere with daily life.