Spasticity Assessment and Management

Publication Date: May 22, 2024
Last Updated: May 30, 2024

Best Practices for Spasticity Assessment and Management

  • A-1: As a component of the initial patient evaluation, clinicians should assess the impact of spasticity on passive and active movement, ability to repeat movements, and function to guide its treatment/management.
  • A-2: Reassessment of spasticity should occur throughout the treatment course. Specifically, reassessment should occur before or at the time of each treatment to consider whether to continue the same treatment or to change the course of treatment.
  • A-3: Standardized measures to evaluate spasticity should be utilized at each evaluation to optimize consistency and to objectively measure response when an intervention is applied.
  • A-4: Treating spasticity should start with optimizing medical management. Physiatrists should make sure that patients are medically stable and address any medical problems that may exacerbate spasticity.
  • A-5: To assess the extent to which a patient's goals are being met, a goal attainment scale or other means of measuring treatment response may be considered in each reassessment.

Clinical Recommendations for Spasticity Management


The AAPM&R Spasticity TEP suggests use of oral medications to manage generalized or systemic spasticity; oral medications can be used either exclusively or as a component of a multimodal treatment approach. (C)



Spasticity Assessment and Management

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