Dystonia

In dystonia, your muscles contract involuntarily — causing uncontrollable repetitive or twisting movements of the affected body part. Your symptoms may be mild or severe, and may interfere with your performance of many day-to-day tasks.

Doctors divide dystonia into categories including generalized, focal, segmental and other less common categories. In focal dystonia, the most common category, one part of your body is affected. Generalized dystonia affects most or all of your body. In segmental dystonia, two or more adjacent areas of your body are affected. Some types of dystonia are inherited.

Symptoms

Dystonia symptoms:

  • Include involuntary muscle contractions that cause repetitive movements or distorted postures
  • Begin in a single area, such as your foot, hand or neck
  • May occur during a specific action, such as handwriting
  • May worsen with stress, fatigue or anxiety
  • May become more noticeable over time

The impact of dystonia on your quality of life varies depending on the part of your body affected, the type of dystonia and the severity of your muscle contractions. Areas of the body affected may include:

  • Eyelids. Rapid blinking or involuntary spasms causing your eyes to close (blepharospasm) can make you functionally blind.
  • Neck. In cervical dystonia, contractions cause your head to twist and turn to one side, or pull forward or backward, sometimes causing pain.
  • Face, head and neck. In craniofacial dystonia, your face, head or neck muscles are affected by contractions. Oromandibular dystonia affects your jaw movement or tongue and may cause slurred speech or difficulty swallowing.
  • Vocal cords. Some forms of dystonia affect muscles that control your vocal cords (spasmodic dysphonia), causing a tight or whispering voice.
  • Hand and forearm. Some types of dystonia only occur while you’re conducting a repetitive activity. In musician’s dystonia, your ability to play a specific instrument may be impaired. In writer’s cramp, your hand and forearm muscles are affected while you’re writing. Dystonia also may occur during other specific tasks.

Complications

Depending on the type of dystonia, you may experience complications, including:

  • Permanent physical deformities
  • Physical disabilities that can affect your ability to perform day-to-day activities or specific tasks
  • Functional blindness from dystonia that affects your eyelids (blepharospasm)
  • Positioning of your head to one side or pulled forward or
  • Difficulty with jaw movement, swallowing or speech
  • Pain and fatigue, due to constant contraction of your muscles

All of these factors may lead to feelings of frustration, depression or anxiety.

How can acupuncture help Dystonia

  • Comprehensive Pain Management can relieve pain and stiffness due to constant contraction of the muscles.
  • Brain Activating Acupuncture gives more blood flow to the brain so as to correct its abnormal function and decrease the contraction.
  • Acupuncture stress management will relieve symptoms like anxiety, depression and fatigue.

Are you a candidate to expect good results?

Acupuncture can help with the pain and stiffness for dystonia in all stages. For the following candidates, you can expect good results in relieving symptoms and decreasing contraction:

  • People below 60 years old
  • The onset is within 1.5 years
  • You have a strong will to try acupuncture
  • You are willing to adjust your diet to help the healing process