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Dystonia

Dystonia is defined as a movement disorder.  In this condition, muscles contract uncontrollably, resulting in repeated or twisting movements. 

The disorder can affect one area of your body called focal dystonia, two or more neighbouring sections called segmental dystonia, or your entire body called global dystonia & general dystonia. 

Muscle spasms can be moderate to severe. They can be painful and can make it difficult to conduct day-to-day chores. Dystonia has no known cure. Medications, on the other hand, can help to alleviate symptoms. If one has severe dystonia, surgery may be performed to block or regulate nerves or specific brain regions. The procedure is conducted at CARE Hospitals where the medical professionals perform surgery using top-notch technology. 

Symptoms

Dystonia can affect people in many ways. Some of the symptoms include-

  • They begin by affecting a specific part of your body. It can be the leg, neck, or arm. After the age of 21, focal dystonia can occur in the neck, arm, or face. It tends to stay focal or segmental.

  • It can happen when one is doing special focused tasks like handwriting.

  • Stress, weariness, or anxiety exacerbate the problem.

  • With time, they can get worse.

Areas of the body that can get affected-

  • Back of the neck or cervical dystonia- Contractions cause your head to twist and move to a side, and pull forward or backwards. It can be painful.

  • Eyelids- Your eyes close (blepharospasms) due to rapid blinking or involuntary spasms, making it difficult to see. Spasms are normally not unpleasant. These tend to increase when you're in bright light, stressed, or engaging with others. The eyes can also go dry.

  • The jaw or the tongue or the oromandibular dystonia- Slurred speech, drooling, and difficulty in eating & swallowing are symptoms related to the tongue. Oromandibular dystonia is a painful condition that usually arises with cervical dystonia or blepharospasms.

  • The vocal cords and the voice box pr spasmodic dystonia- You may experience a hushed or whispered tone in your voice.

  • Forearm and hand- Some of the dystonia also happen when one is doing something repetitive. It can be writing (writer's dystonia) or playing a musical instrument (musician's dystonia).

Risks 

The risk factors or complications depend on the type of dystonia. The following are the common risks associated with the condition-

  • Physical disabilities that cause ill-effects to your performance in daily activities or specific tasks.

  • Difficulty with a vision that affects the eyelids.

  • Difficulty with jaw movement, swallowing or language.

  • Pain and fatigue by constant contraction of your muscles

  • Depression, anxiety and social withdrawal

Diagnosis 

Diagnosis for dystonia includes- physical examinations and medical history of the patient. Underlying conditions that are diagnosed-

  • Blood and Urine Tests- The toxins and other conditions can be determined with these tests.

  • MRI and CT scan- They both are imaging tests. They can determine brain abnormalities such as lesions, tumours, and stroke.

  • Electromyography or the EMG- These tests can tell the electrical activity inside the muscles.

  • Gene testing - The dystonia can have hereditary causes. These are determined by gene testing.

Treatment

Doctors may treat the conditions and use methods of medicine, therapy or surgery. 

Therapy

The following therapies are suggested by the doctor-

  • Physical therapy or occupational therapy- to help ease symptoms and improve nerve function.

  • Speech therapy if your voice is affected.

  • Stretching or massage to relax muscle pains.

Surgery 

Surgery happens when the symptoms are severe-

  • Deep brain stimulation (DBS)- It is a type of brain stimulation.  Electrodes are surgically placed in one specific area of your brain and linked to a generator in the chest. The generator provides electrical pulses to the brain. This may aid with muscular contraction control. The generator's settings can be adjusted according to you.

  • Denervation surgery- It is done selectively. This surgery involves severing the nerves that govern muscle spasms. It may be an option for treating dystonia that hasn't responded well to conventional treatments. Your doctor will also prescribe any medications accordingly. 

Why Choose CARE Hospitals 

CARE Hospitals aim is to be India's most well-known healthcare provider, dedicated to the highest levels of clinical quality and patient care, backed by cutting-edge technology and research. We demand more of ourselves to provide the best to our patients. We strive for excellence in everything we do so that we can provide the best level of patient-centred care possible. 

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