A muscle contracture is the decreased length or shortening of a muscle. Contractures lead to decreased joint range of motion which in turn affect mobility and activities of daily living. There are various causes of contractures, but some of the more common causes include:
- Spasticity/hypertonicity of a muscle
- Bed rest
- Nerve injury
For example, the hamstring and hip flexor muscle groups are often commonly affected in individuals who sit for prolonged periods of time. Standing up and walking are methods that we naturally stretch our muscles to combat the risk of contractures. If an individual is unable to stand and walk regularly on his or her own, it becomes even more important to manually stretch the muscles regularly to combat the risk of contracture.
Prevention is essential. A physical therapist will work with you to establish a stretching and strengthening program to prevent contractures.
A bit about Julie...Julie Hom, MPT, NCS is a physical therapist specializing in the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis and balance and fall prevention. She is a Neurologic Certified Specialist (NCS) through the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) which is a certification confirming higher skills and knowledge with respect to neurological disorders. Click here to read more about Julie...http://www.healthcarejourney.com/read-about-our-virtual-ms-center-staff.html
Note: the information that is being provided is for "Advice Only" for individuals in California.