Many stroke survivors live with a condition called spasticity which causes muscle stiffness and pain that affects their quality of life.
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Sherri Dymterko: Five years ago, Scott Plummer was told, he'd never walk again after suffering a massive stroke. Today this former semi-professional football player is being helped by a treatment not normally associated with stroke recovery. Dr. Christos Boulias with West Park Healthcare Center in Toronto specializes in the treatment of stroke and the symptoms of Spasticity. Patients like Scott can be helped by injections of Botchulin Toxin A, commonly known as Botox. Dr. Christos Boulias: Most Spasticity which is a condition that affects muscles and they affect the limb of an individual with a stroke, whereby those muscles become very tight, may cause problems with that person's general care. Botchulin and Toxin which in Canada is known as Botox, is a medication that's injected in the affected muscle. This molecule blocks the signal from the nerve to that particular muscle, that spastic muscles, therefore making that muscle less spastic or loose. Sherri Dymterko: After suffering a stroke in 2002, Scott's muscles in his left arm and leg ceased up. Called Spasticity, many stroke survivors live with a resulting stiffness and muscle pain that dramatically affects their quality of life. Scott Plummer: I have been in the wheelchair for 5 months. So I kept going to therapy until I become fine. My goal is to be totally into back where I was before with my legs. Hopefully, within six months to a year, I will be there. Sherri Dymterko: Scott's doing remarkably well, thanks to rehabilitation exercise, Botox and the loving support of friends and family. Dr. Christos Boulias: Stroke has an impact not only on the patient, but also on their families. We know there are approximately 50% of caregivers will develop some psychological stress as a result of managing a person or a family member or a friend with stroke. To help individuals and family members cope with the disability of stroke, Stroke Recovery Canada has published an excellent guide which is called the Caregivers Guide to Stroke, which will help individuals learn about the various disabilities and impairments. Sherri Dmyterko: The Caregivers Guide to Stroke Recovery booklet is available online at StrokeRecoveryCanada.com as well as selected rehab institutions, Sherri Dmyterko reporting.