Spasticity or Increase muscle tone is very commonly encountered in Pediatric Neurology practice. In simple terms Spacticity means increased muscle tone which causes resistance to any external movement. Spasticity is also commonly mentioned as a "dynamic increase in muscle tone"; by the experienced physiotherapists. The most common cause of spasticity in children is Cerebral palsy, usually caused by antenatal or perinatal insult to the developing brain.
If spasticity is caused by Cerebral palsy, the underlying brain problem which is static(does not change with time), however the spasticity may get worse with time. It is therefore important to "remain ahead in the game" by managing spasticity at the earliest. The most common treatment of spasticity is Physiotherapy. An experienced pediatric physiotherapist will assess your child and formulate a therapy program depending on the severity of the spasticity.
The Pediatric Neurologist may choose to start the child on a muscle relaxant, usually Baclofen, which is given orally and in severe cases Baclofen can also be given via an implantable device known as "Baclofen Pump".The doctor may also decide to give Botulinum toxin (Botox) injections to the spastic muscles as a targeted therapy. This is usually given after 2 years of age.