Objective. To present electrophysiological methods of spasticity assessment.
Review. Spasticity is one of the core clinical signs of lesions within the central nervous system. In medicine there have been so far no objective, widely used methods of assessing and comparing spasticity. Three groups of methods are used to evaluate spasticity: clinimetric, biomechanical and electrophysiological. Electrophysiological techniques are the most objective ones, but they are also time-consuming and require both appropriate equipment and trained staff. In the pathogenic chain of spasticity electrophysiological methods are focused on the evaluation of only some elements, such as alpha-motor neurons excitability, presynaptic inhibition, Renshaw cells feedback inhibition, polysynaptic activity and reciprocal inhibition. Alpha-motor neurons activity is most frequently evaluated by analysing various aspects of the Hoffmann reflex (H reflex) and F wave, which is extensively discussed in the article.