Spasticity In Hand


Spasticity is a motor disorder characterized by a velocity-dependent increase in tonic stretch reflexes (muscle tone) with exaggerated tendon jerks, resulting from hyper excitability of the stretch reflex.


  • Increased muscle tone
  • Overactive reflexes
  • Pain
  • Spasmodic involuntary movements or clonus
  • Decrease in the functioning and delay in the motor development
Caring Hands
  • Difficulty with care and hygiene
  • Abnormal posture
  • Contractures (permanent contraction of the muscle and tendon due to severe persistent stiffness and spasms)
  • Bone and joint deformities

Classification of Spasticity

Spasticity is frequently classified by its presentation and divided into:

  • Focal –there is impairment and activity limitation around one joint
  • Regional –there is impairment and activity limitation of whole limb/s
  • Generalized –there is impairment and activity limitation of whole body

Spasticity Grading System

Modified Ashworth Scale

0   No increase in muscle tone.

1   Slight increase in muscle tone (catch and then release)

1+   Slight increase in muscle tone (catch which is followed by minimal resistance throughout the range of movement)

  A more marked increase in muscle tone. (Resistance throughout most of the range of movement, but affected part can be easily moved)

3   Considerable increase in muscle tone, passive movement difficult.

4   Affected part(s) rigid in flexion or extension.