Spasticity Program

Dr. Abraham Alfaro is the Director of the Spasticity and Dystonia Clinic at Bacharach

What Causes Spasticity

Spasticity is an unwelcome side effect of many neurological conditions such as stroke, brain injury or cerebral palsy. Characterized by rigid or tight muscles, spasticity is not actually caused by the muscles, but rather by the area of the brain controlling muscle movement.

 

People who live with spasticity may find that it limits activity and interferes with performing some of the tasks of daily living. While there is no cure for spasticity or its underlying causes, there are treatments available that significantly improve movement and decrease pain.

 

Spasticity Treatment

Bacharach board certified physiatrists provide systemic, regional and targeted treatments based on an assessment of individual needs.

Each patient is evaluated to determine the cause, effect and severity of the spasticity. Treatments may address reducing the pain and frequency of muscle spasms, or they may be aimed at spedific goals, such as improving hygiene and affprding functional improvements of the activities of daily living.

Intrathecal Baclofen Therapy

Bacharach doctors specialize in managing patients with spasticity through various interventions including Intrathecal Baclofen (ITB) therapy. Bacharach physiatrists perform initial testing to determine if ITB therapy is indicated. They then facilitate the placement of the pump, calibrate an adjust dosage and refill the implanted pumps.

Injectable Medications

Bacharach physiatrists also offer injectabl medicines, such as botulinum toxin and phenol nerve blocks, which relieve spasticity by weakening or paralyzing the nerve causing the overactive muscle contraction.

Treatments include:

  • Physical therapy and stretching
  • Bracing and splinting
  • Oral medications
  • Intrathecal baclofen therapy (ITB)
  • Injections

Bacharach Spasticity and Dystonia Clinic

 

The Bacharach Spasticity and Dystonia Clinic, directed by Abe Alfaro, Ph.D., D.O., helps to control spasticity in people with MS and other conditions.  One effective method of treatment is to inject the affected nerve with either lidocaine or Botox.  Dr. Alfaro has unique expertise in this area and is one of few doctors in the Philadelphia and South Jersey region offering this type of treatment.

 

 Baclofen pump

Another effective treatment is Intrathecal Baclofen Therapy, or IBT.   It uses a programmable, surgically implanted pump and catheter inserted under the skin to deliver an aqueous form of the drug baclofen, used to treat spasticity, directly to the fluid around the spinal cord.

 

Dr. Alfaro uses a number of techniques to address the spasticity needs of each patient.  After injections, he may refer patients to occupational therapy or physical therapy to increase mobility and range of motion and improve function.

 

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Alfaro call 609-748- 5380 x 5526 or use the form below:

 

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