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Clonus Treatment

Clonus Treatment

Clonus, in most cases can be prevented and treated with some home care measures like exercises and body stretching. However, clonus can take place due to various reasons, so it is important to diagnose the underlying cause and follow the related treatment. Keep reading to know more about the causes of clonus and its treatment.
Pragya T
Last Updated: Mar 1, 2018
In clonus, a person experiences repetitive jerky motions of the muscle, these occur especially when touched or moved. Normal clonus conditions occur in healthy people and don't create any health problems. For example, hiccups are a type of clonus. However, severe signs of clonus can be an indication of a major health complication, which is why one needs to get diagnosed for this condition and opt for the appropriate treatment.
Symptoms and Causes of Clonus
A person when suffering from the condition of clonus, experiences muscle jerks which can be described as sudden, shock-like, involuntary, intense, or frequent. They can also be limited to a muscle or a muscle group and spread from a muscle group to other body areas. In some cases, they can interfere with activities like movement and speech.

There are many causes of clonus. Listed below are some of the important ones.
  • Epilepsy
  • Liver failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Metabolic problems
  • Brain tumors
  • Strokes
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Chemical poisoning
  • Prolonged oxygen loss
  • Severe spinal cord injury
  • Head injury or infections
  • Alzheimer's disease
Treatment for Clonus
If the signs of clonus become frequent and persistent, consult a medical practitioner. To prepare for the visit to the doctor, make a list of the symptoms that you are experiencing and carry a list of all the medication and supplements you are taking, if any. After a detailed discussion with your family doctor about the seizures, medications, and family history you will be referred to a neurologist depending upon the severity of the condition. Sometimes a patient is also referred to a physical therapy professional. Here are the various types of treatment for clonus a person is generally recommended.
Physical Therapy
Physical therapy as a treatment is the first course of action. Physical therapy treatment can be performed at home by yourself or at a clinic. Physical therapy includes body workouts, stretching exercises, and sometimes massages. You can do aerobic workouts at home. After a full body workout, you can follow some stretching exercises.

These home care tips help to reduce the severity of clonus symptoms and aid in preventing clonus. If you are suffering from muscle jerks in a specific muscle or muscle group, then follow the stretching exercises regularly for that muscle area. For example, use ankle eversion and inversion stretches for ankle clonus. Following physical therapy for treatment helps to reduce the severity of symptoms.
Since a patient might experience difficulty maintaining their stability, hence assistive devices can be recommend. Supports like canes, walker, braces, etc., can be used for maintaining stability, while they walk.
The most common medications prescribed for clonus include immunosuppressants, anticonvulsants, and tranquilizers. Clonazepam is a common tranquilizer drug, which is prescribed for the treatment of clonus. Immunosuppressants may include azathioprine and corticosteroids; and anticonvulsants such as primidone and levetiracetam are prescribed.
In this therapy a person is injected with botulinum toxin type A injections, popularly known as botox injections. The botulinum toxin helps to block the release of chemicals which trigger the muscle convulsions.
Surgery is used as a treatment if the person is experiencing clonus due to a lesion or tumor present in the brain or spinal cord. Surgery is performed to release the tendon or to cut the nerve muscle path.
Spasticity and clonus are closely linked. Spasticity refers to stiff muscles, where a patient might experience abnormal tightness of the muscles. Spasticity can interfere with daily activities like walking or talking. One of the symptoms of spasticity is repetitive jerky motions, clonus. Other symptoms include unusual posture, scissoring, exaggerated deep tendon reflexes, etc. Some think that clonus is an extended outcome of spasticity, however, many times clonus is not observed among patients with spasticity.
If you are showing signs of clonus, it is imperative that you consult your family doctor for a proper diagnosis. After the exams and tests are done, you will be recommended the appropriate clonus treatment. Ensure, you contact the doctor immediately if you observe the symptoms are getting worse or there is a deformity of the affected areas.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.
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