Saturday, February 27, 2016

Saturday News

Webcomics (also known as online comics or Internet comics) are comics published on a website. While many are published exclusively on the web, others are also published in magazines, newspapers or in books. Webcomics can be compared to self-published print comics in that almost anyone can create their own webcomic and publish it. Readership levels vary widely; many are read only by the creator's immediate friends and family, while some of the largest claim audiences well over one million readers. Webcomics range from traditional comic strips and graphic novels to avant garde comics, and cover many genres, styles and subjects. Only a select few are financially successful. A longer definition comes from Wikipedia
    • Video: Webcomics
      • Author(s)
        • Webcomic Tips with Scott Johnson of ExtraLife
        • HOW TO Start a Webcomic! -The Comic Paige
        • You Should Make a Webcomic
        • XKCD: Time
        • Randall Munroe (XKCD): Comics That ask "What If?"
      • Comics, Authors, Make It and Other Stuff
        • Every Major's Terrible XKCD Sing-a-Long
        • R. Stevens, Diesel Sweeties - XOXO Festival (2012)
        • How To Go To Space (with XKCD!)
        • Making A Softer World
        • Sludgy Freelance
        • No Girls Allowed
        • Interview - The Book of Biff
         Saturday News | Future Topic

         Mar/26/2016   | Environmental Enrichment (Neural)
         Mar/19/2016   | Anomic Aphasia
         Mar/12/2016   | Speech Repetition
         Mar/05/2016   | Accessible Housing

    Definition: Webcomics

    Webcomic From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    SSTattler: Today and in the future, the topic is onlineComics a.k.a. Webcomics !!

    See as well:

    Many webcomics like Diesel Sweeties
    use non-traditional art styles.
    Webcomics (also known as online comics or Internet comics) are comics published on a website. While many are published exclusively on the web, others are also published in magazines, newspapers or in books.

    Webcomics can be compared to self-published print comics in that almost anyone can create their own webcomic and publish it. Readership levels vary widely; many are read only by the creator's immediate friends and family, while some of the largest claim audiences well over one million readers. Webcomics range from traditional comic strips and graphic novels to avant garde comics, and cover many genres, styles and subjects. Only a select few are financially successful.


    Video: Webcomics


    • Author(s)
    • Comics, Authors, Make It and Other Stuff

    1. Author(s)

    Webcomic Tips with Scott Johnson of ExtraLife

    Uploaded on Apr 1, 2008

    Following up from our interview with Stan Lee, the godfather of comics, we spoke to Scott Johnson of ExtraLife, a popular webcomic. Scott talks with Veronica about how to start, write, and publish a webcomic, and drops some useful tips that we're sure you'll find interesting.

    Standard YouTube License @ mahalodotcom

    Headline Blog: Webcomics

    Definition: Blog (noun). Add new material to or regularly update to a blog. (≃1990s: blog shortening of weblog)

    [XKCD] Comic Compilation #101 - 150

    Published on Oct 29, 2014

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    Be sure to like and subscribe to get future videos. Thanks for your support!

    Standard YouTube License @ Darkskeleton

    Sweet Peas

    Diana Smith
    In Sync With The Universe
    July 21, 2015

    My snack, third and most productive gathering. I am not sure if they are dying off, time will tell.

    I will make my goal of not going to the store or anywhere except to the post office until Wednesday. Tomorrow I will need to buy Ash food and I am going to trivia night. I hope I get enough work done around the house tonight and tomorrow to deserve it.

    So far today, I watered the garden. Washed one load of clothes. Put a pole up and put cucumber vines up on it. Picked up the pieces of my broken clay pot. Cleaned up several disaster piles around the house. Looked helplessly for my lost food stamp card. Listed some arcade cards on Ebay. Called my sons. Messaged my mother. Got attacked by a rambunctious dog, meaning she threw her body weight on my while I was lying down. Thankfully she has been her usual calm and sleepy self the rest of the day.

    Speaking of arcade cards, here is a poem circa 1948 that was on one:

    Good Seat, Eh Wot?

    “I’m thankful that the sun and moon,
    are both hung up so high,
    That no pretentious hand can stretch,
    and pull them from the sky;
    But if they were not I’d have no doubt,
    that some reforming ass,
    would recommend we take them down,
    and light the world with gas.”

    BTW, arcade cards were like a thin cardboard postcard prize you won at an arcade, you collected and traded them. They had pin-ups, comics, movies stars, western themes, etc.

    See the original article:

    Weekly Columnists

    Definition: Columnist |ˈkäləmnist| (noun). A blogger or a journalist contributing regularly to a blog or newspaper

          Medical Research - Stroke Rehab/Research Version

    Dean Reinke
    Deans' Stroke Musing
    August 28, 2009

    I couldn't help but spread this around. My version would have added a line,
    'Have you read any research articles since graduating?' 
    'I didn't think so'

    From The Chalkboard Manifesto....

    See the original article:

    Sunday Stroke Survival: Statements That Make Me Angry

    Jo Murphey
    The Murphey Saga
    Sunday, February 21, 2016

    There are few words or statements that make me red faced angry and want to scream at the person saying them. I'm usually a quiet fighter, and a behind the scenes type advocate, but sometimes I get my dandruff raised and it makes me yell from the rooftop at the stupidity of the person voicing the trite, too often said rhetoric that I read as "I can't be bothered to deal with you anymore." I'll become the champion on my white horse and gird my armor for battle. As with this case...

    This case came to my attention a few weeks ago. A young woman (37) with two young children (under the age of five) had a stroke. She had a promising career as a teacher before her stroke. After she hit the post stroke prime, six-month window passed, she was told her recovery was as good as it will ever get. In fact, her insurance was now balking at paying for any other treatment pertaining to her stroke because of this one neurologist's charted note. I'm thankful her neurologist wasn't mine, but now she is a patient of my neurologist and is back in therapies (OT, PT, Speech). :o) Now that she has met the right people, me included, she is fighting the system. She's too young to start giving up. She has too much to live for and yet achieve.

    Caregiver: Visitors

    The Pink House On The Corner
    Sunday, February 21, 2016

    My dear friend, Sally, was here for a week and just left yesterday.  Sally and I go way back.  We used to work together and in the late 1980's, we both went through divorces, and rather bonded over that. And though we have kept in touch, I haven't seen her since around 1999, so we had 17 years of catching up to do!

    Between catching up, we caught some sights including these manatees, lazing about in the bay:

    The manatee in the forefront is rolling
    over, you can see his flippers.
    We also did some shopping, went to the beach and all around had a great time.

    Another visitor showed up in the early hours of dawn on Friday when I was startled awake, and saw my digital alarm clock flashing the time "12:43" a.m.  Now the thing was flashing, like it does when there is a power outage or power surge -- but when that happens it's always "00:00" that is flashing not "12:43".  So this is rather odd.  And odder still, I remember having woken earlier to see the time as "1:48" and falling back to sleep.  So basically the clock went backward in time and stopped and started flashing...  Odd, that.  I turned on my nightstand light and reset the clock to the right time, which was 5:48, and then I turned off the light, laid back down to try to catch some last minute sleep, when suddenly a lamp in the kitchen turned on.

    Jester: Pass the Pepper Please

    Jackie Poff
    Stroke Survivors Tattler
    A man and a woman were sitting beside each other in the first class section of an airplane.

    The woman sneezed, took out a tissue, gently wiped her nose, then visibly shuddered for ten to fifteen seconds.

    The man went back to his reading.  A few minutes later, the woman sneezed again, took a tissue, wiped her nose, then shuddered violently once more.

    Assuming that the woman might have a cold, the man was still curious about the shuddering.  A few more minutes passed when the woman sneezed yet again. As before, she took a tissue, wiped her nose, her body shaking even more than before.

    Unable to restrain his curiosity, the man turned to the woman and said, "I couldn't help but notice that you've sneezed three times, wiped your nose and then shuddered violently.  Are you OK?"

    "I am sorry if I disturbed you, but I have a very rare medical condition; whenever I sneeze, I have an orgasm."

    The man, more than a bit embarrassed, was still curious. "I have never heard of that condition before" he said.  "Are you taking anything for it?"

    The woman nodded, "Pepper."

    TED Talks - Scott McCloud: The Visual Magic of Comics
    Filmed February 2005 

    In this unmissable look at the magic of comics, Scott McCloud bends the presentation format into a cartoon-like experience, where colorful diversions whiz through childhood fascinations and imagined futures that our eyes can hear and touch.

    Filmed February 2005 at TED2005

    Wednesday, February 24, 2016

    Eclectic Stuff on Wednesday

    Definition: Eclectic (noun). A person who derives ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources

    Disability Etiquette: Not Us. This Is For You, "Normals"!

    Joyce Hoffman
    The Tales of a Stroke Patient
    Feb 21, 2016

    I use the transport chair when there's a lot of ground to cover, like Walmart or the grocery store. It's also the only chair my personal assistants could lift up. The only bad part: the transport chair is un-wheelable since its tiny wheels don't allow me to propel myself forward like a regular wheelchair.

    Otherwise, I walk, getting as much exercise as possible, with my personal assistant trailing behind me with the transport chair in case fatigue sets in and I can't walk anymore. (I don't like caregiver, caretaker--which, by the way, is for a parcel of land, not a person, companion, or aide so I single-handedly upgraded the job to personal assistant, or PA).

    There is an interesting phenomenon that I noticed for almost the past 7 years since my hemorrhagic stroke. I feel invisible while sitting in the chair while the people to whom I'm speaking always direct the conversation to my PA, like I'm talking funny or I'm mentally incapable of understanding them. Sometimes I say, "Talk to me when you're talking to me," which works for some people and, if they still persist in having the conversation with my PA, I'll stand up from my chair and say that line a little louder. That always works.

    Off the Road

    Barb Polan
    Barb's Recovery
    February 21, 2016

    Tom, Turbo and I returned from a road-trip to Florida last night. There were several great reasons justifying it:
    1. Last winter here in eastern Massachusetts was so miserable - meaning the people here were miserable – that I had a melt-down (pun intended) in April, when the torture was finally over. It consisted of: “Tom, I am NOT going to spend two months trapped inside our house every year for the next 20 years!” After suggesting we sell the house (which neither of us want to happen), Tom offered to spend a couple of weeks this winter looking for an acceptable place to spend a couple of months each winter.
    2. We wanted to take our dog along with us, which made us opt to drive instead of fly. Turbo is an emotional support animal (ESA) we got when I couldn’t bear to stay home alone when it was time for Tom to go back to work after the stroke. Although Tom makes lots of jokes about Turbo needing more emotional support than he provides, he does his job extremely well. My psychotherapist wrote a letter confirming that Turbo is an ESA, so we purchased a little “vest” (more like a saddle) and an ID card with his picture and all to communicate that he must be allowed into any public facility.
    3. We have lots of friends and family scattered along the East Coast, so we’d be able to see some of them; again, a reason to drive rather than fly.
    4. My father, who lives in northern Florida, turned 90 in mid-February, and my siblings and I wanted to help him celebrate it.

    Enriched Environments Help Recovery After Stroke

    Peter G. Levine
    Stronger After Stroke
    Friday, February 12, 2016

    Remember: SHE
    Social interaction

    What is an enriched environment (EE)?

    An EE is something that forces you to learn. Forced to learn. You have to be forced to learn. Learning can be forced by everything from curiosity to circumstance.

    In fact, the brain will not learn (change) unless its forced. Why would your brain change if it is comfortable? What if the brain changes while you're comfortable? It may change to the point where you are no longer comfortable.

    And a lack of comfort is icky.

    Food for Thought

    Sas Freeman
    February 14, 2016

    Purple Roes
    To everyone out there who kindly reads my blogs, and especially all the stroke survivors amongst you, I wish you a happy valentines day and hope that the image of these delicate flowers, and their fabulous colour gives you the feeling of inspiration, hope and recovery. Remember to always believe in continuing recovery, even when it becomes slower. As if that image were not warming and encouraging enough, it is accompanied by the clever words of a friend Alan, and fellow stroke survivor. Please just click on the link below to open the pdf. I hope you enjoy his work and I wish you all, once again a happy, healthy valentines day.

    See the original article:

    Everything's Changing

    Beth Sinfield
    Beth's Story
    Wednesday, 17 February 2016

    I always thought that 2016 would somehow be a better year than the past three. I don't want to jinx it though but so far, it's been pretty great.

    My confidence has definitely grown (even my teachers at college have noticed a big improvement), my walking has gotten faster and the quality even better. Never would I have imagined I could say that 3 and a half years after my stroke.

    And finally, after years of waiting, I got an answer about my speech. For 3 months I am going to try a palatal lift again (for the third time- fingers crossed!). For those that don't know, it's a prosthetic that fits along the roof of your mouth that extends all the way back to the soft palate to lift it up. The aim of this is to stop my nasality, so the air escaping from my nose. I've already tried one twice and both times ended badly - basically it just didn't work and created way more problems for me. The cleft team at Addenbrooke's know my reservations about it and are very aware that it may not work out again. So if not, they will operate.

    Nails Do Not Stop Growing After a Stroke

    Rebecca Dutton
    Home After a Stroke
    February 14, 2016


    I live alone so I have to cut my nails. I cut the nails on my sound hand by operating an adapted nail clipper with my affected hand. I returned the small nail clipper shown on the bottom. The pointed end (see V-shape) dug into my palm when I pushed down. The short handle also meant I had to press hard to get enough force to cut my nail. I use the larger nail clipper shown on top. The end of the handle is square which is more comfortable. The longer handle gives me better leverage when I push down.

    Stupid Question:
          But Isn’t There Enough Green to go Around?

    Tim Seefeldt
    Brain Food Cafe for the Mind
    Posted February 16, 2016

    With as many years on the planet as I’ve put in, this seems a silly – or even dumb – question.

    And yet, as I read recent headlines and ponder the fate of a few new stroke victims whose stories have come my way, I wonder…

    Life isn’t all about money, but oh what money can do for our lives.

    Or at least pay the way to get important stuff done. It’s easy to say that money can’t buy happiness. But that depends what you mean. Chucking cash at status simples and questionable gizmos ‘guaranteed’ to stop the ravages of time may indeed fall short. But if the bucks go into research that can save or enrich lives, then I’d say that the money has paid for a few smiles.

    Take stroke. Please. Badambum (that’s supposed to read like the sound of the three drum beats that follow a bad joke).

    Will a Stroke Patient Need a Mortgage Next?

    Jeff Porter
    Stroke of Faith
    Thursday, February 18, 2016

    Photo from
    via Flickr
    We've seen lots of stories lately about drug prices. And there are lots of high-price drugs that aren't in the news a lot. Just Google "Jublia price" and you'll get stories like this one.

    Now, another drug is making news - and this one is close to home for past and future stroke survivors. It seems that the long-approved clot-buster is a price-buster too:
    For those keeping score, here is yet another example of drug price escalation: the cost of alteplase, aka tPA, the clot-busting agent used to treat stroke, increased by 111% from 2005 to 2014 -- but Medicare payment for the drug has increased by 8% during the same period. 

    Apple vs the FBI - Who Wins?

    The Big Picture RT
    Published on Feb 19, 2016

    SSTattler: The last 4 years before I had a stroke, my job is, mostly, "encryption" (hide secrets). The problem today, FBI vs Apple, is huge!! Read on if you want to...

    Jenna McLaughlin, The Intercept & Elizabeth Goitein, The Brennan Center for Justice joins Thom. Apple CEO Tim Cook has announced that this company will fight a government order to unlock the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters. What impact will this decision have on the broader debate around encryption and terrorism?

    For more information on the stories we've covered visit our websites at - - and You can also watch tonight's show on Hulu - at BIG PICTURE and over at The Big Picture YouTube page. And - be sure to check us out on Facebook and Twitter!

    Standard YouTube License @ The Big Picture RT

    Rick Mercer Report: Beach Volleyball & Face to Face

    Rick and Beach Volleyball

    Published on Jan 27, 2016

    Rick trains with Canadian Olympic beach volleyball hopefuls at Downsview Park in Toronto, ON.

    Standard YouTube License @ Rick Mercer Report

    Face to Face with Justin Trudeau Follow-Up

    Published on Feb 10, 2016

    Tough questions. No Answers.

    Standard YouTube License @ Rick Mercer Report

    Laid-Back Admin: No Post This Week

    XKCD: Degrees

    Webcomic Of RomanceSarcasmMath, And Language


    Radians Fahrenheit or radians Celsius? Uh, sorry, gotta go!

    Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).


    Saturday, February 20, 2016

    Saturday News

    Spasticity (from Greek spasmos-, meaning "drawing, pulling") is a feature of altered skeletal muscle performance with a combination of paralysis, increased tendon reflex activity and hypertonia. It is also colloquially referred to as an unusual "tightness", stiffness, or "pull" of muscles. Clinically, spasticity results from the loss of inhibition of motor neurons, causing excessive muscle contraction. This ultimately leads to hyperreflexia, an exaggerated deep tendon reflex. Spasticity is often treated with the drug baclofen, which acts as an agonist at GABA receptors, which are inhibitory. A longer definition comes from Wikipedia
      • Video: Spasticity
        • Spasticity: Loosen Up
        • Stroke and Spasticity: The Recovery Process
        • How a Baclofen Pump Works
        • Treatment for Severe Spasticity from Stroke
        • Physical Therapy for Spasticity
        • UPDATE Spasticity-Toomer, MD
        • Fighting Spasticity After Stroke
        • Teaching - Spasticity - Causes of Limitation & Opening Hand
        • Teaching - Opening a Spastic Hand
        • Botox for Post-Stroke Spasticity
           Saturday News | Future Topic

           Mar/19/2016   | Anomic Aphasia
           Mar/12/2016   | Speech Repetition
           Mar/05/2016   | Accessible Housing
           Feb/27/2016   | Webcomics

      Definition: Spasticity

      Spasticity From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      SSTattler: Please look at original  Saturdays News - Spasticity and Stroke June 30th, 2012. Some of YouTubes is new. Three most difficultly and suffering stroke are 1) paralysis 2) spasticity and 3) fatigue. 

      Spasticity - stiffness in the arms, fingers or legs.
      Spasticity (from Greek spasmos-, meaning "drawing, pulling") is a feature of altered skeletal muscle performance with a combination of paralysis, increased tendon reflex activity and hypertonia. It is also colloquially referred to as an unusual "tightness", stiffness, or "pull" of muscles.

      Clinically, spasticity results from the loss of inhibition of motor neurons, causing excessive muscle contraction. This ultimately leads to hyperreflexia, an exaggerated deep tendon reflex. Spasticity is often treated with the drug baclofen, which acts as an agonist at GABA receptors, which are inhibitory.

      Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common form of cerebral palsy, which is group of permanent movement problems that do not get worse over time. GABA's inhibitory actions contribute to baclofen's efficacy as an anti-spasticity agent.


      Spasticity mostly occurs in disorders of the central nervous system (CNS) affecting the upper motor neurons in the form of a lesion, such as spastic diplegia, or upper motor neuron syndrome, and can also be present in various types of multiple sclerosis, where it occurs as a symptom of the progressively-worsening attacks on myelin sheaths and is thus unrelated to the types of spasticity present in neuromuscular cerebral palsy rooted spasticity disorders.

      Video: Spasticity

      Spasticity: Loosen Up

      Published on Apr 17, 2015

      Spasticity is a post-stroke condition that can cause limited coordination and muscle movement and painful muscle spasms in your arms and legs. Stroke survivors identify spasticity as one of the top three most prevalent post-stroke conditions.

      Standard YouTube License @ NationalStrokeAssoc

      Headline Blog: Spasticity

      Definition: Blog (noun). Add new material to or regularly update to a blog. (≃1990s: blog shortening of weblog)


      Barb Polan
      Barb's Recovery
      Posted 3rd January 2012 

      I know that some survivors consider the day of having a stroke as a "rebirth" into the world - becoming a new person infused with gratitude for a second chance, having a fresh way of looking at everything previously taken for granted. They celebrate "rebirthdays." I, for one, do not look that way at having had a stroke. To me, having had a stroke meant the death of my old life, not the birth of a new one. Sure, there are things that are better now: my focus professionally now is on being a writer, not being an editor because I couldn't sell enough of my writing; I have concrete proof that I am well-loved by my family and friends; I know that the hard work, determination and strength of character that my recovery has required can all be diverted to some other worthy task once my rehab is complete; I can accept that "what happened is what happened and [for me anyway] is not likely to happen again," to paraphrase Bartholomew Cubbins, of "500 hats" fame. That does make the stroke I had the beginning of a new phase of my life? Does that mean I was "reborn" after all?

      Often, when I wander through semantics and my personal experiences like this, I end up with many questions and few answers - just like being in adolescence over again. And learning to walk makes me 1 again, while redeveloping my reasoning skills puts me at 7 or 8. And, because of the spasticity in my hand, I still can't crawl; although I can get on my hands and knees, keeping my fingers curled. Not being able to tie my shoes, use a knife to cut my food, or zip my coat puts me pre-kindergarten, right?

      Such a Spaz

      Marcelle Greene
      Up Stroke
      Sunday, June 19, 2011

      When I was a kid, one of my favorite expressions was "Don't have a spaz," which I would say to someone who had lost emotional control. I didn't know it then, but spaz is a derivative of "spasticity," which is a common result of stroke. It describes a state of continuous, uncontrollable muscle contractions.

      Absent the proper signals from my brain, my fingers clench into a fist. My arm curls toward my chest. My foot turns inward, pulled by tight muscles along my inner leg. My chest constricts like a steel band around my lung. Sometimes it's hard to breathe.

      I am on two types of medication to counteract this problem – daily oral baclofen and quarterly Botox injections. They both ease but do not eliminate the symptoms.

      My therapists tell me that I can learn to control the spasticity. For each movement, I concentrate on extending one set of muscles then contracting the opposing muscles. To straighten my arm, I focus on relaxing my bicep then recruiting my tricep. It's exhausting mental and physical work. I sometimes break a sweat just moving a can of tomato paste.

      My no-longer neurologist told me that I'd be fighting spasticity the rest of my life. I'm not sure how that statement is supposed to help me. As someone who cultivated flexibility during 10 years of yoga, the idea of spending the next 30-plus years with half my body contracted totally makes me have a spaz.

      See the original article:

      Choosing to Work Towards Happiness

      Living After Stroke

      Derailed Plans

      We walked out of a restaurant last night after being seated. Well, I rolled.

      There’s a new Indian restaurant in my small town. The sign said buffet. It was only at lunch and the dinners were $20+ a plate. Not in our budget at all.

      We would have paid that as a splurge for the buffet. Not because we wanted a ton of food but because we wanted to try a variety of dishes.

      Neither of us has ever eaten at an Indian restaurant. We thought it was the perfect opportunity to be introduced. We were scared to order a $20+ dinner and not enjoy it. Maybe one day we’ll make it there for the lunch buffet.

      So out we went. It was a small place. Getting in and out of a booth and into my chair was awkward and noticeable.

      We ended up having a wonderful Mexican dinner al fresco.

      Surprising Reaction

      I’m not gonna lie, I was disappointed; I was looking forward to a new experience. Plus, just putting on shoes instantly triggers spasticity and increases pain. When we first left the house, it was hot & uncomfortably humid. Getting in and out of the car twice and chair 4 times was more than I bargained for at the end of a long day. Every transfer is scary and painful.

      4 Treatment Options for Spasticity

      Ramon Florendo
      Life After a Stroke
      Wednesday, January 21, 2015

      (first Posted by Emily Shearing Jan 07 2015)

      Exercise can help with post-stroke spasticity.If your muscles are unusually tight and you have difficulty getting around or performing simple tasks after a stroke, you’re not alone. Estimates show that half of all stroke survivors struggle with spasticity.

      Stroke often causes muscles to spasm uncontrollably, much like having a charley horse. Because the muscle isn’t properly stretching, the stiffness caused by spasticity can eventually lead to muscles shortening and settling in an unnatural and sometimes painful position.

      As with most forms of stroke therapy, the sooner you begin treatment, the more likely you are to recover. Below are four options to treat spasticity. Be sure to have a conversation with your doctor to determine what’s best for you.


      Regular physical activity and daily stretching of the affected limb is often the first and most effective form of treatment for spasticity.

      Oral Medications


      Amy Shissler
      My Cerebellar Stroke Recovery
      July 9, 2012

      I haven’t posted anything significant for a week so I thought I’d write about spasticity although I have none.  A cerebellar injury will not cause spasticity.  Most strokes however will cause spasticity.  Spasticity is a velocity dependent tone to the muscle.  So what does that mean?  That means that a muscle, say your bicep, is always contracted and “on.”  So your elbow is always bent.  It attacks some muscles more than others.  The velocity dependent part means it gets worse the faster it is moved.  I remember the very first patient we touched in PT school had spasticity.  She was incredibly open to us touching her arm but we were all scared to do it.  It’s nerve wracking putting your hands on a patient for the first time.  Now I have no physical boundaries with people, I have no problems touching people.  :)  That sounds weird.  Anyway, spasticity occurs in degrees and can be very painful.  Imagine your elbow constantly bent – that would hurt.  Treatment from a physical therapy standpoint is to keep that muscle as long as possible with very slow stretching and range of motion.  Also, you’d want to strengthen this muscle – and the opposite muscle.  So if the spasticity is affecting your bicep you’d want to get the tricep really strong.  I’m glad I have no spasticity, I think it would be very hard to deal with.  If you have it, it will get better as the brain heals.

      Related articles:

      See the original article:

      Are Resting Hand Splints a Waste of Money?

      Rebecca Dutton
      Home After a Stroke
      May 1, 2014

      Studies of resting hand splints make me cringe when researchers ask the wrong questions. Studies done by Lannin (1) and Burge (2) asked if resting hand splints improve functional hand use. A resting splint that places the hand in one static position does not retrain the brain.

      So it is not surprising that Lannin and Burge found resting hand splints produced no significant improvement on hand function tests, like the Motor Assessment Scale.
      Lannin (1) also concluded "splinting has little or no effect on the loss of range of motion" (p. 113) because both subjects who did and did not wear a resting splint lost some wrist range of motion (ROM). Unfortunately, Lannin told therapists treating subjects who were wearing a resting splint to stop all passive stretching and restrict active hand exercises to 10 minutes a day.

      I asked a different question. What would happen if I continue to do passive stretching and active hand exercises, but stop wearing my SaeboFlex resting splint at night? After a month of not wearing this splint it felt like my thumb was getting tighter. I resumed wearing this splint and the next morning I woke up with a ferocious ache in my thumb. Every night that I wear my splint I wake up with no resistance to thumb ROM although my thumb is tight by the evening. I don't think my resting splint has eliminated my spasticity, but I believe it has prevented a contracture.

      Brain Stimulation Might be Viable Post-stroke

      Jeff Porter
      Stroke of Faith
      Tuesday, October 08, 2013

      Image from the
      National Institutes of Health
      Stroke recovery can be a challenge - many, many know that better than I - but it's good to see research on possible ways to improve that recovery.

      A recent study discussed how
      brain stimulation is viable in post-stroke rehab:

      ▶ Repeated noninvasive transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) helped treat spasticity, motor symptoms, and post-stroke pain in a small population of stroke patients, researchers reported here.

      Check out the link for the whole story, and keep in mind the research included a small number of people. Still, this bears watching.

      See the original article:

      I'm a Spaz

      Grace Carpenter
      My Happy Stroke
      Saturday, June 8, 2013

      When I was in junior high, whenever a friend did something clumsy, awkward, or funny, we would laugh and say,

      "Don't be a spaz!"

      I think I vaguely knew that the word "spaz" came from "spastic," but I had no idea what spasticity actually meant. Until, of course, I was afflicted with this uncomfortable condition myself.

      Looking back, one of the people who probably suffered from spasticity was a kid in my class who had spina bifida, or maybe cerebral palsy. He used crutches and his legs looked like they hadn't grown enough. Other than noticing his awkward gait, I didn't think about him at all. My top--and only--priority in junior high was to fit in.

      There was also an adult in our neighborhood who probably had spasticity. He walked into the town center every day with a lopsided gait. I'm guessing that he also had Tourette's syndrome, because he also used to mutter curses, and jerk with uncontrollable tics. "He's harmless," my mother would reassure me, if I encountered him on my walk home.

      A few weeks ago when I was walking, I had a good view of my shadow. I was trying to walk fast, which makes my spasticity more noticeable. I was swinging my right arm, and with each step I could see my shadow arm moving in jerky, awkward movements, like a wind-up toy losing steam.

      At first I was amused by my spastic shadow. I was even tempted to spew curses, just to see reactions of passers-by.

      Then I thought: please god, help me walk normally before my children start junior high.

      (For the record: I believe I also have apraxia, which contributes to the awkward look of my movements. Like many stroke survivors, I have a cluster of conditions.)

      See the original article:

      An Arm Recovery Stroke Advance? @Fightingstrokes

      Kate Allatt
      Stroke Recovery Tips
      August 23, 2014

      Ever since my own discharge from hospital in 2010, I was convinced that electrical stimulation (ES) was in part responsible for helping restore life to my paralysed left arm.

      I was sure my totally ‘paralysed-but-with-sensation’ left arm responded well to the experimental ES treatment I received. I believed it actually helped REWIRE my brain.

      It got me thinking, ‘Just think if it was offered to all suitable stroke survivors & was applied early, frequently and repetitively enough, then more people could restore arm function post any type of stroke.

      ES (not to be confused with functional electric stimulation FES) or a high powered, inexpensive TENS type machines are usually available over the counter and could make a ‘Neuroplasticity difference’ I think.

      Furthermore, can ES perhaps reduce pain and contractures too? We need proper stroke recovery initiatives, not just stroke prevention marketing messages.

      In the 3.5 years running my charity – Fighting Strokes – I am more convinced than ever by this technology after looking back over all my Facebook comments:

      I used TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) on my right arm also as this is my weaker side.’ Allison O’ Reilly, 52 Brainstem Stroke survivor diagnosed and recovered from locked in syndrome.

      After Stroke, Spasticity is a Bad Thing
            — but Things Could be Worse.

      Peter G. Levine
      Stronger After Stroke
      Saturday, May 7, 2011

      Flaccidity is an example of a point in the poststroke arc of recovery with consequences as bad, or worse, than spasticity. Spasticity carries with it the potential for contracture, pressure sores, pain, joint problems and deformities. Flaccidity, too, carries obvious physical risks (i.e., subluxation, muscle atrophy, etc.). But flaccidity also provides an ominous window onto the prognosis of the limb. Flaccidity says 2 things: “Recovery will have to wait” and/or “Recovery may have ended”.

      There are two kinds of paralysis; flaccid paralysis and spastic paralysis. Most of the patients therapists see fall into neither category. Part of the reason that therapists typically don't see truly paralyzed patients is because, traditionally at least, little can be done to help. With the advent and broadening use of intrathecal baclofen, injectable neurolytics and the dorsal root rhizotomy, etc., the potential for treatment has broadened. Still, most of the people that are candidates for treatments that aim to improve limb movement are not going to be hemiplegic (paralyzed) -- they'll be hemiparetic (weak). The question becomes, is there more potential and somebody who has near flaccid or spastic?

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