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Woman Finds Relief After Years of Cerebral Palsy Related Spasticity

November 28, 2018

Brittney Clouse is out of a wheelchair and walking again, thanks to the innovative use of Botox®.

Brittney suffered for years from spasticity, a side effect of childhood cerebral palsy that makes routine independent daily tasks nearly impossible. Roughly 12 million people around the world suffer from spasticity, according to a report by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

Spasticity left Britney’s muscles feeling like a tautly stretched rubber band and created a “pins and needles” sensation.

As a college student, Brittney wanted to experience more of young adulthood than her disease allowed. She wanted to be independent but felt trapped by her own body.

Wheelchair bound and searching for an effective treatment when numerous conventional therapies and muscle relaxers fell short, Brittney found Asare B. Christian, MD, MPH, a physiatrist at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Christian evaluated Brittney and recommended Botox® treatments to ease the spasticity that was preventing her from living a fuller life. Botox® is one of several types of botulinum toxins that has been shown effective in treating spasticity. 

“With spasticity, the muscles are fighting each other, and it takes so much energy to move, that patients are often fatigued with short walks or activity,” Dr. Christian says. “The injections provide relief from the spasticity by blocking electric impulses to the muscles.”

Dr. Christian administered the customized injections to Brittney’s inner thigh, behind her knee and to her calves, feet and ankles.

Brittney experienced mild discomfort after the Botox®, including soreness and a heavy feeling in her legs, but by the third day was out of her wheelchair and walking.

Relief from Botox injections begins to wane at about three months, at which time they can be repeated.

Post injection, Brittney says she receives more benefit from her physical and aquatic therapy sessions, because she is able to participate more fully.

A Good Shepherd patient since childhood, Brittney says coming to Good Shepherd “is like coming home again.”

“My quality of life was terrible,” she says. “I am so much happier – I can go shopping again and have stamina again.”

To learn more about how Good Shepherd can help relieve spasticity, call 1-888-44-REHAB (73422).