Dystonia is a condition that involves the basal ganglia, an area of the brain. It is a neurological movement disorder where certain muscles are affected causing abnormal posture or movement.
Symptoms of Dystonia:
Symptoms can range from mild to severe and affect different regions of the body. Some symptoms include:
- Speech difficulties
- Cramping of the foot
- Uncontrollable blinking
- A “dragging leg”
- Involuntary pulling of the neck
Some dystonia cases may not have a specific cause. The area in the brain that is responsible for initiating a muscle contraction has a communication error between nerve cells. Some causes of dystonia may be from:
- Brain Trauma
- Oxygen Deprivation
- Drug Reactions
- Poisoning caused by lead or carbon monoxide
Types of Dystonia:
There are many types of Dystonia which are classified body regions. Some types of dystonia are:
- Blepharospasm - affects the eye region.
- Cervical dystonia or torticollis - this is the most common type and affects the neck muscles.
- Cranial dystonia - affects the head, face, and neck muscles.
- Oromandibular - affects the jaw, lips, and tongue causing muscle spasms.
Physical therapy, speech therapy and stress management may also help with treating the symptoms of dystonia. Within physical therapy, a specialty called ASTR (Advanced Soft Tissue Release) is a noninvasive, holistic approach that may help reduce involuntary movement.