Stroke Training and Awareness Resources (STARs)


Aims of treatment

illustration of arm muscles and sinews

Images subject to copyright. Anatomical diagrams are reproduced with permission from Jost, W; Pictorial Atlas of Botulinum Toxin Injection: Localization, Application; Quintessence Publishing Co Ltd; August 2008. Courtesy of Merz Pharma UK. M-MP-UKI-0059.

The primary aim of the treatment of hypertonus or spasticity in muscles is:

  • to maintain length
  • to allow normal positioning of the limbs

This will help prevent secondary soft tissue shortening.

“The mainstay of treatment is muscle stretching, and splinting/orthotics provide a means to maintain prolonged stretching in between sessions of physiotherapy and manual handling” (Verplancke et al 2005).

The primary aim of the treatment of hypotonus or flaccidity in muscle is:

  • to preserve alignment of muscle and joints
  • to preserve function

Any intervention should be aimed at facilitating these fundamental treatments. This role should be multidisciplinary and part of the patient’s everyday treatment and care planning.

Page last reviewed: 04 May 2020