Chronic spasticity is a condition characterized by a persistent tightness or stiffness of particular muscles that the patient cannot control. Depending on which muscles are involved, spasticity may affect movement, walking ability or speech. The problem results from damage within the nervous system that disturbs the communication between the brain and the muscles.
Chronic spasticity is very common in people with cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis. It may also develop due to a stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, meningitis, encephalitis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and a number of other conditions.
The symptoms of chronic spasticity can vary considerably. Some patients experience only a sensation of tightness in the affected areas, while others may experience severe pain in the muscles and joints and involuntary spasms of the arms or legs. The muscles may become easily fatigued and deformities sometimes develop in the bones or joints.