Pediatric Spasticity | Causes & Treatments | MedStar Health

We provide advanced care for pediatric spasticity, including a specialty clinic offered at our Tenleytown location.

Spasticity has several possible causes, can affect different parts of the body, and can significantly range in severity — so the Division of Pediatric Neurology tailors our care to the needs of each individual patient. No matter your child’s needs, our expert team can create a care plan to help achieve the best possible clinical outcomes.

Our providers

Pediatrics specialist examining girl child

Expert pediatric care

Getting the care you need starts with seeing one of our pediatricians.

Frequently asked questions

  • What is spasticity?

    Spasticity is a disorder that affects muscle control. Children with spasticity may experience muscle jerks, tightness, or involuntary movements.  While the severity of symptoms varies widely, spasticity often causes pain and difficulty with day-to-day tasks or mobility. Treatment can help increase comfort and functioning.

  • What causes spasticity?

    Spasticity is caused by abnormal communication between the body’s nerves and muscles. This problem with the central nervous system has a variety of possible causes, including  strokes, brain or spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, and cerebral palsy. In children, cerebral palsy is the most common cause of spasticity.

  • How is spasticity treated?

    We offer many types of treatment for children with spasticity. Our interdisciplinary team evaluates each child, discusses the treatment options with families, and creates highly customized care plans.  Treatment options may include:

    • Oral medications

    • BOTOX® injections to temporarily relax muscles for three to six months

    • Intrathecal Baclofen Therapy (sometimes called ITB or a Baclofen Pump), a treatment which uses a surgically placed pump to deliver a drug that reduces spasticity

    • Serial casting, a treatment that uses a series of casts to gradually stretch muscles

    • Physical therapy and occupational therapy