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What is dystonia?

Characteristic involuntary contractions of muscle that result in slow repetitive movement or abnormal posture is called dystonia.

These involuntary movements may cause pain and some individuals may experience tremor or neurological symptoms.

This disease may affect only one muscle, group of muscles or muscles of whole body.
It is a progressive disorder, initially it causes mild symptoms but at later stages food swallowing becomes difficult.

What are the causes?

• Idiopathic: exact cause is unknown
• Altered communication between nerve cells that is located in the basal ganglia (an area of the brain that is involved in initiating contractions of muscles).
• It may be an inherited condition.
• It may develop in some individuals who perform high precision hand movements.
• Neuroleptic drugs may cause this disease.

How is it classified?

• Generalized dystonia
• Blepharospasm
• Cervical dystonia
• Laryngeal dystonia
• Oromandibular dystonia
• Hemifacial spasm
• Writer’s cramp
• Myoclonus dystonia
• Paroxysmal dystonia

What are the symptoms of dystonia?

Generalized dystonia

The symptoms start in one limb and then spread to other parts of the body.

Symptoms of this type are:

• Spasms of muscle occur.

• The extremity takes an abnormal, twisted posture.

• A foot, leg or arm turns inwards.

• Body parts jerk rapidly.

Cervical dystonia

This type is also called torticollis. It is the common form of dystonia.

Symptoms of cervical dystonia are:

• Neck muscles contract.

• Sensation as if patient is being pulled forwards, backwards or from side to side.

Blepharospasm affects the muscles around eyes.

Symptoms of blepharospasm are:

• Irritation in eyes.

• Sensitivity to light.

• Uncontrolled blinking of eyes.

• Uncontrollable closing of the eyes.

Hemifacial spasm

Muscles of one side of the face undergo spasm in hemifacial spam. This symptom aggravates when patient is feeling tired or under stress.

Laryngeal dystonia

Spasm of the muscles of the larynx occurs in laryngeal dystonia. Voice sounds either ‘strangled’ or quiet or ‘breathy’ depending on whether spasm occurs outwards or inwards.

Writer’s cramp

Involuntary movement and cramps in the muscles of the arm and wrist is called writer’s cramp. People who are involved in lot of writing are affected.

Writer’s cramp is of two types – simple and dystonic.

Simple Writer’s Cramp:

People who suffer from simple writer’s cramp experience difficulty with only one specific task e.g. when the individual starts writing, after writing a few words spasm begins and diminishes the speed and accuracy of writing.

Dystonic Writer’s Cramp:

This type of spasm occurs while writing and also while performing other tasks with hand.

Myoclonus dystonia

It affects the muscles in the arms, neck and torso. It is a rare type of dystonia. Sudden jerk like spam similar to electric shock are caused by myoclonus dystonia.

Oromandibular dystonia

Muscles of mouth and jaw are affected in oromandibular dystonia. Mouth is pulled upwards and outwards, swallowing becomes difficult and in some cases symptoms appears while eating and talking.

Paroxysmal dystonia

It is a rare type of dystonia in which spasms of muscle and unusual body movements appear at certain times. The symptoms mimic an epileptic fit. But unlike epilepsy patient does not lose consciousness and remains aware of the surroundings.
Attack remains for few minutes to several hours. Stress, fatigue, coffee, alcohol or sudden movements may trigger an attack.

Does dystonia go away?

Patients with cervical dystonia may feel that if they touch the back of their head or the side of their face, symptoms improve or go away completely. Splints and braces may sometimes be helpful as part of a sensory trick therapy. A physio therapist can also help them improve their posture.

Is dystonia worse over time?

Dystonia symptoms may stabilize after a period of time, or may continue to progress over time. Effective treatment can prevent or slow progression. Symptoms do not get worse or spread with proper treatment. However, this is not the case for generalized dystonia’s, which are often hereditary.

Is Dystonia a neurological disorder?

Dystonia is a disorder which is characterized by involuntary muscle contractions that results into slow repetitive movements or abnormal postures. The movements may be painful, and some patient with dystonia may have a tremor or other neurologic symptoms.

Can dystonia be caused by trauma?

In most cases the cause for dystonia is unknown. Significant head trauma is a well-recognized precipitating factor in dystonia. It has become increasingly seen that peripheral trauma can also result in dystonia. Peripheral trauma is defined as trauma outside the central nervous system.

Does dystonia affect memory?

Tremor (shaking) can also be a characteristic symptom of some types of dystonia. Dystonia is a neurological condition (caused by underlying problems with the brain and nervous system).However, in most cases, brain functions such as intelligence, memory and language remain unaffected in some cases.

What is the homeopathic medicine indication for dystonia?

Mygale lasiodora 

Agaricus muscarius


Hyoscyamus Niger

 Tarentula hispanica 

Asterias Rubens 

For more information, you can visit WebMD and eMedicine.


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