United Spinal Association Teams Up With BOTOX(R) Maker Allergan and Actor Henry...

United Spinal Association Teams Up With BOTOX(R) Maker Allergan and Actor Henry Winkler to Launch ‘Open Arms: Raising Awareness of Upper Limb Spasticity’ Educational Campaign


NEW YORK, June 3 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — United Spinal Association (http://www.unitedspinal.org) has partnered with BOTOX(R) maker Allergan, Inc., actor Henry Winkler, and four national patient advocacy organizations to educate the public on the low awareness and under-diagnosis of upper limb spasticity.

Spasticity is a debilitating condition impacting approximately 1 million Americans, many of whom suffer from spasticity in the upper limbs following a stroke, a spinal cord or traumatic brain injury or due to disorders such as multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy.

United Spinal Association and the Open Arms Campaign strive to increase public awareness and help those living with this debilitating condition find support. At www.OpenArmsCampaign.com, those affected by upper limb spasticity will learn how to recognize its symptoms and discover resources to treat the condition.

Allergan and its Open Arms Campaign will be attending United Spinal’s upcoming Independence Expos (http://www.independenceexpo.org) in New York on June 25th- 26th and Florida on October 1st -2nd. Campaign spokesperson Henry Winkler, whose late mother struggled with the condition, without treatment, for 10 years following a stroke before she passed away, will be participating in the Florida Expo. United Spinal will be hosting educational seminars on upper limb spasticity and its treatment options during both of its Expos. Allergan is also planning several educational seminars throughout the year hosted in cities across the country and on the Web.

“United Spinal is proud to support Allergan in its campaign to educate the public as well as patients on upper limb spasticity, which affects many of our members and other individuals living with spinal cord injuries and disorders nationwide,” said Paul J. Tobin, President and CEO of United Spinal Association.

Crystal Muilenburg, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications at Allergan, added, “Allergan is honored to partner with United Spinal Association on the ‘Open Arms: Raising Awareness of Upper Limb Spasticity’ educational campaign, joining them in an effort to raise awareness for a severely under-diagnosed and under-treated condition. We hope this campaign reaches people living in silence with the condition and helps educate them on how to recognize it and find resources to manage and treat it effectively.”

Upper limb spasticity occurs when the brain over-communicates with the muscles causing them to constantly contract and tighten, resulting in pain, loss of dexterity, and difficulty walking or running, as well as other mobility issues. The condition can hinder a person’s ability to perform many everyday activities, such as getting dressed, hygiene, and eating.

One of the campaign’s primary goals is to address the delay in diagnosis of many individuals with upper limb spasticity who experience its onset weeks, months, or even years after their original injury–after they are discharged from the hospital and are no longer seeing specialists familiar with its symptoms.

Other partners in Allergan’s campaign include National Stroke Association (http://www.stroke.org), Brain Injury Association of America (http://www.biausa.org), National Spinal Cord Injury Association (http://www.spinalcord.org), and United Cerebral Palsy (http://www.ucp.org).

Allergan recently received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its drug BOTOX(R), to treat upper limb spasticity in people 18 years and older. The medication is administered through an injection into the muscles and used to alleviate increased muscle stiffness in elbow, wrist, and finger muscles.

About United Spinal Association

United Spinal is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit membership organization formed in 1946 by paralyzed veterans and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all Americans with spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, ALS and post polio. It has played a significant role in writing the Americans with Disabilities Act, made important contributions to the Fair Housing Amendments Act and the Air Carrier Access Act. Membership is free and is open to all individuals with spinal cord disorders.

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Paul Tobin


Marlene Harmon-Perkins


SOURCE United Spinal Association

United Spinal Association Teams Up With BOTOX(R) Maker Allergan and Actor Henry Winkler to Launch ‘Open Arms: Raising Awareness of Upper Limb Spasticity’ Educational Campaign