Spasticity Treatment Dialogue Tool

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Spasticity is one of the most common post-stroke conditions experienced by stroke survivors. If untreated, it can decrease your quality of life and increase the burden on your caregiver.

To find the right treatment, it’s important for you and your caregiver to have open dialogue with your health care provider. Assessment and diagnosis are critical in developing a treatment plan, and it’s important to evaluate progress and outcomes. This dialogue tool can educate you and help you have a productive conversation with your health care provider.

1. What symptom(s) is your spasticity causing?

  • ☐ Pain
  • ☐ Muscle spasms
  • ☐ Tightness in limbs
  • ☐ Severe cramps
  • ☐ Distortion of muscles/limbs
  • ☐ Limiting ability to perform tasks or activities

2. How long have you experienced these symptoms?

  • ☐ 1-3 months
  • ☐ 3-6 months
  • ☐ 7 months or longer

3. What activities have your symptom(s) impacted?

  • ☐ Eating
  • ☐ Dressed
  • ☐ Toileting
  • ☐ Walking
  • ☐ Sleeping
  • ☐ Bathing
  • ☐ Other

4. What treatments have you tried?


Spasticity Management Options

Discuss these treatment options with your health care provider to determine what’s best for you:

Targeted Injections

(such as botulinum toxin)


  • Effectively treats affected area
  • Non-drowsy
  • Can be combined with other therapies


  • Treatment effect may diminish over time
  • Semi-invasive procedure
  • Specific for focal spasticity only
  • Cost

Oral medications

(such as baclofen, muscle relaxants and antispasmodics)


  • Non-invasive
  • Reduces symptoms
  • Useful for global symptoms


  • Poor tolerability
  • Side effects such as sedation and weakness
  • Additional cost

Electrical Simulations/Vibrations


  • Reduces spasticity
  • Increases flexibility
  • Improves functioning


  • Temporary relief 
  • Used in addition to rehabilitation therapy

Intrathecal Baclofen Therapy



  • Effective for severe spasticity
  • Avoids many adverse effects of oral baclofen
  • Delivers medication directly to affected area


  • Invasive surgical procedure
  • Cost of refills
  • Risk of overdose and withdrawal

Physical Exercise & Stretching


  • Helps maintain full range of motion
  • Prevents permanent muscle shortening


  • Limited therapy time/number of sessions

Tendon-Lengthening Procedures


  • Permanent solution
  • Relieves pain
  • Decreased reliance on medication
  • Improved functioning


  • Invasive surgical procedure
  • Risk of complications
  • Rehabilitation therapy required after procedure
  • Additional cost


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Ipsen is a proud sponsor of the American Stroke Association’s Spasticity Education Initiative.