how to reduce spasticity in stroke patients physiotherapy

How to Reduce Spasticity in Stroke Patients Physiotherapy?

Stroke survivors often experience spasticity, a condition that causes tightness in their muscles. That can make it harder to move about and, at times, even slightly uncomfortable. However, there is some good news! Physiotherapy may be very helpful for treating such muscles to relax and enhance movement ability. In this blog post, we will provide how to reduce spasticity in stroke patients physiotherapy. If you are a survivor or assisting someone on the way to recovery from a stroke, these tips are meant to help you with gentle ways of reducing muscle stiffness so as to improve mobility. Let’s take one step further towards easy movements together!

How to Reduce Spasticity in Stroke Patients Physiotherapy?

Spasticity might be a familiar condition if you or someone you know had a stroke. It implies that the muscles are tight, rigid, and difficult to move. This can really be uncomfortable and make it hard to perform daily chores. Fortunately, physiotherapy has several ways that help in reducing this stiffness and making movement easier. Let’s walk through these procedures using very simple terms so that you can understand how physiotherapy helps in improving the lives of survivors of strokes.


The key is stretch; it helps to loosen up those muscles that are tight. Think about it like gently opening a stiff door; slow and hold for some time. You can have your Physiotherapist demonstrate the best stretches for the affected muscles. Hold each stretch for around 30 seconds to one minute without overdoing them.

Muscles Strength

When muscles are weak, spasticity gets worse. Strengthening exercises will help make your muscles stronger so that they become less stiff, too. Your therapist will show you appropriate exercises such as band work, weights, or just your own body weight. Try finding a happy medium and slowly get stronger.

Mobilization of Joints

It really helps when you move joints through their full range of motion (ROM). ROM exercises sometimes involve moving your limbs by yourself. At other times, the therapist may assist with guiding them while in movement. It is similar to leading out your limbs into their usual movements so they do not lock into one place.


Even how you sit or lie down can tighten up your muscles. Physios have tricks on positioning their bodies comfortably, hence relaxing tightness levels within. Including pillows or any kind of support helps in keeping your muscles relaxed, mostly when sleeping or resting.

Electrical Stimulation

Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) is a cool technique where the muscles are made to contract with the help of small, harmless electric shocks. It may sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, but it helps with muscle tone and reducing stiffness. This is accomplished through tiny sticky pads placed over your skin on top of the affected muscles.

Therapies to Get Moving

Activities such as water therapy or gentle exercises like tai chi can be very helpful. Water makes your body light, thus making movement easier, which is good for stretching and strengthening. Your muscles’ strength will also increase as you try tai chi’s slow, controlled movements that give you a better command of your body.

Stay Positive

Reducing spasticity takes time and patience. Make sure that you keep up with doing physiotherapy regularly and stay positive. Although it might be slowly improving, each little bit counts in terms of less difficulty moving or feeling better.

What Exercises Reduce Spasticity of Stroke Patients?

A few exercises can help reduce spasticity in persons who have had a stroke. Examples include:

Stretching Exercises: This involves gently stretching the affected muscles to improve flexibility and decrease muscle tightness. Concentrate on stretching the muscles that are tight or overexcited, holding the stretch for 30 seconds up to a minute each.

Range of Motion Exercises: These exercises involve moving the affected joints through their full range of motion. It helps to enhance joint mobility and prevent stiffening of muscles. Range of motion exercises can be passive (whereby the therapist moves your arm) or active (where you move it by yourself).

Strengthening Exercises: Strengthening weak muscles will help improve general muscle function and lower spasticity. Use resistance bands, weights, or bodyweight exercises to focus both on those muscles that are unaffected and those that are affected.

Balance and Coordination Exercises: Balance and coordination exercises help make movements more stable and controlled, thus reducing spasms. They might include standing on one leg, walking heel-to-toe, or basic coordination drills.

Aquatic Therapy: Water exercising can make it easier to move about with buoyancy, which is supportive while stretching without causing too much strain on your muscles. Spasms can be reduced when one does aquatic therapy since it improves mobility, strength, and flexibility.

Tai Chi or Yoga: Tai Chi uses slow, controlled movements during exercise that focus on deep breathing for relaxation of muscles and reduction of spasticity. In addition, there is a promotion of balance together with flexibility as well as general well-being by doing yoga.

Wrapping Up

So, how can we reduce muscle stiffness after a stroke? Stretching and strengthening exercises, smart positioning, and electrical stimulation are just some of the tools available to help relax muscles that have become too tight. Always remember that working on this issue takes considerable time and hence needs a slow but steady pace. A lot of things can be achieved for them by physiotherapy directed by a therapist and with little persistence from the side of survivors.


"Hasan", I am a physiotherapy Doctor. I have completed my B.S.c course (4 years) under Rajshahi University, Faculty of Medicine, Rajshahi. Currently I am working as a clinical physiotherapist at a renowned physiotherapy center and I am continuing my MPT (Master's of physiotherapy) degree at CRP, Savar.

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