Muscle spasticity (unrelaxed muscle) is a characteristic of many clinical conditions, including trauma, muscular and ligaments sprains and strains, intervertebral disc disease, poisoning, neurologic disorders, and exertional rhabdomyolysis.
An increase in tonic stretch reflexes originates from the CNS with involvement of descending pathways and results in hyperexcitability of motor neurons in the spinal cord. Drug therapy alleviates muscle spasms by modifying the stretch reflex arc or by interfering with the excitation-coupling process in the muscle itself.
Centrally acting muscle relaxants block neuronal pathways in the spinal cord and in the brain. Some drugs also have sedative effects, which are beneficial to animals that are anxious or in pain.
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