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Do spasms have a similar strengthening ability as FES?

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    Do spasms have a similar strengthening ability as FES?

    I have extremely week muscles that I can flex in my back, stomach, and a few other areas. When I turn down the dose on by baclofen pump, I get extreme spacticity in these muscles. Does this help to strengthen the muscles in the same way as E-stim?

    Same situation here....

    Good question! I'm interested to hear peoples responses...

    "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow"
    ~ Anon
    Emily, C-8 sensory incomplete mom to a 8 year old and a preschooler. TEN! years post.


      spasms as exercise

      I do not have a SCI, but I work with people who do. I have seen several patients build muscles with spasms and we always encourge this to a point. We always suggest that when you have spasms, try to use them to do a movement and then try to control them. Some of our patients have learned to bring their knee to their chest doing this.

      janis allen
      janis allen


        Spasticity and spasms will help to maintain muscle bulk, but not necessarily functional movement. Some can learn to trigger their spasms to help with specific functional activities (such as a standing transfer or turning over in bed), but more often the spasms interfere with function.

        Medications of any kind used for spasticity should not be dosed to the level where spasticity or spasms are absent, but just to the point where they do not seriously interfere with function or safety.

        The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


          spasams work like fes,the muscle contracts which will help keep size but not build strenght. fes causes your muscle to contract and release while spasams cause a long contraction that could be damaging joints,tendons, and build strengh you need to increase resistance


            Using spasms as a 'good thing' is the premise at places such as Project Walk.

            Personally, spasms (especially in my legs) do help in maintaining muscle but not increasing strength. I no longer take any anti-spasm drugs like baclofen. It all depends upon the person. We're all different with different goals.

            I do however know one C6 quad who's spasms are so bad that he just rides them out and has been able to increase his strength. Very rare though, imo.

            Onward and Upward!


              I used to put weights on my legs....

              and trigger spasms in my quads. Skip my baclofen, drink coffee, and then trigger spasms for an hour. Definitely helped maintain muscle bulk and I believe, bone density. No other answer for why my bones have retained bone density for twenty-three years.

              ~See you at the SCIWire-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~
              ~See you at the CareCure-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~


                I wish that I could keep my spasms, but the things are just too bad. Before I got my pump, my 250lb. bricklaying dad couldn't even straighten my legs because of them, and there were many times when I thought my stomach muscles were going to suffocate me. [img]/forum/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]