Clinical assessment of spasticity
Spasticity and rigidity are common neurological findings in movement disorders, and share the characteristic clinical feature of increased muscle tone. In clinical neurology, spasticity is described as increased resistance to passive movement due to a lower threshold of tonic and phasic stretch reflexes (Holmes 1946). Rigidity is a more uniform and continuous resistance of muscle to passive stretching. Unlike spasticity, rigidity is a condition in which muscle tone is increased in both agonist and antagonist muscle groups, and muscle stiffness is manifest throughout the entire range of movements. Two types of rigidity can be distinguished: the plastic type, in which resistance to passive movement is smooth, such as that experienced in bending a piece of lead; and “cogwheel rigidity”, when tremor is superimposed on muscle stiffness.
KeywordsMuscle Tone Passive Movement Muscle Stiffness Muscle Stretch Stretch Reflex
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Dimitrijevic MR (1973) New developments in electromyography and clinical neurophysiology, vol 3. Withdrawal reflexes. Karger, Basel, pp 744–750Google Scholar
- Holmes G (1946) Introduction to clinical neurology, 3rd edn. Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh LondonGoogle Scholar
- Pedersen E (1969) Spasticity: mechanisms, measurement, management. Publication No. 752. Charles C Thomas, Springfield,IllinoisGoogle Scholar
- Young RR (1980) Spasticity: disordered motor control. Epilogue: a view toward the future-restorative neurology. Year Book Medical Publishers, Chicago London, pp 495–500Google Scholar