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Information for young people with spasticity

Information for young people with spasticity

If you have spasticity you will be looked after by a team of expert healthcare professionals. They should involve you and your parents or carers in planning your programme of care and ask you about your views. You and the healthcare professionals will agree on your treatment goals – for example, to improve your posture, or your skills and activities. You should be given information that is relevant for a person of your age.

Throughout your treatment you should have checks to make sure that your treatments are working as well as possible, and have changes to your treatment plan if needed.

Physical therapy

You should be offered physiotherapy, occupational therapy, or both, to help you reach your goals (see Physiotherapy and occupational therapy for more information). This could involve muscle exercises, or activities to help you with your posture or everyday activities. You may need help with your physical therapy, or you may be able to do it yourself. You and your parents and carers should be given training if you need it.

You will need to have a special physiotherapy and/or occupational therapy programme if you have certain other treatments such as botulinum toxin, a baclofen pump or surgery (see below).


As part of your care plan you may be offered an orthosis to wear. Orthoses are devices that fit onto the body that can help improve your posture and movement. Your healthcare team should take into account your feelings about how an orthosis might look and affect your appearance. If you decide to use one, it should be designed specially for you, and you should be given any advice you need. If you need to wear it at night, your healthcare team should check that it's not disturbing your sleep.

Drug treatment

You may be offered drug treatment to help with your spasticity. If it is causing you discomfort or pain, you may be offered an oral drug (taken by mouth) called baclofen or diazepam.

You may be offered treatment with another drug called botulinum toxin, which is injected into the muscles. If necessary, you can have treatment to help with any discomfort during the injections.

Some people are offered a treatment known as a baclofen pump. This involves having surgery to place a small pump under your skin near your waist, which releases baclofen into your system to relax your muscles. You should have an assessment and a test to check the effects of the baclofen before you have the pump, which can continue to work for several years.


Sometimes surgery can help people with spasticity – for example, if there are difficulties due to contractures affecting your posture and movement.

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