University Orthopedics opens Comprehensive Spasticity Management Clinic

A PATIENT RECEIVES spasticity care at University Orthopedics’ new Comprehensive Spasticity Management Clinic. / COURTESY UNIVERSITY ORTHOPEDICS

EAST PROVIDENCE – University Orthopedics recently announced it is now able to offer a new approach to spasticity treatment that is unique to Rhode Island and the Greater Boston area with the formation of its Comprehensive Spasticity Management Clinic.

Spasticity causes certain muscles to contract involuntarily and can be the result of stroke, multiple sclerosis or other neurological conditions. Stiffness from spasticity can get in the way of voluntary movement and make daily tasks such as self-care and sleep difficult.

The clinic is led by Dr. Zachary Bohart, a board-certified psychiatrist and expert in spasticity management.

“Timely treatment for spasticity really can help improve a patient’s quality of life. Unfortunately, there is a tremendous shortage of doctors treating this debilitating condition in our area,” Bohart said. “We believe that the Comprehensive Spasticity Management Clinic will help more patients find relief from their symptoms without having to travel far from home.”

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The new clinic offers three treatments for spasticity, including Botox injection therapy, phenol nerve-block injection therapy, and intrathecal baclofen pump placement and therapy.

If injection therapy is given before contracture sets in, it can ease symptoms and allow patients to better gain strength and flexibility, Bohart said.

But when injection isn’t appropriate, surgical treatment may be needed. Bohart’s team works with surgical colleagues at University Orthopedics to help find another solution for patients.

Other nonsurgical treatment options offered at the clinic include exercise programs, pharmacological management, bracing and splinting, as well as therapeutic heat, cold and electrical stimulation.

While there are several causes of spasticity, the clinic most often treats spasticity caused by a stroke, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, brain injury and cerebral palsy.

Katie Castellani is a PBN staff writer. You may contact her at

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