Dystonia: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
This health condition affects one part of the body called focal Dystonia and two or more adjacent parts referred to as segmental Dystonia. And even all the body parts are referred to as general Dystonia since the muscle spasms can range from mild to severe and can be painful that they can interfere with the day-to-day performance and tasks.
Though there is no cure to the health condition but the medication can improve the symptoms. Let us get acquainted with all the essential information concerning the health condition.
Symptoms of Dystonia
- Start in a single area like your arm, neck, or leg. It is a focal dystonia that starts after the age of 21
- It takes place during a particular action like handwriting
- Become noticeable over time
- Gets worse with fatigue, anxiety, or stress.
The body areas that can be affected due to the health condition include:
The contraction causes the head to twist and turn to one side only while sometimes causing pain.
Involuntary spasms or rapid blinking can cause the eyes to close and make it complicated for you to see. However, the spasms are not painful but might increase when exposed to a brighter light or under stress.
- Vocal cords and voice box
You might experience a whispering or tight voice.
- Tongue or Jaw
With this area affected, one might experience slurred speech, difficulty chewing, swallowing, and drooling.
- Forearm and hand
Several types of dystonic occur when one performs a repetitive activity like writing or playing a specific musical instrument.
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Causes of Dystonia
- Huntington’s Disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Traumatic brain injury
- Birth injury
- Wilson’s Disease
- Brain tumour
- Infections like TB
- Reactions to specific medications
- Oxygen deprivation or carbon monoxide poisoning
Complications involved in Dystonia
- Difficulty with a vision that affects the eyelids
- Physical disabilities that affect the performance of performing specific tasks or daily activities
- Fatigue or pain due to muscle contractions
- Anxiety, social withdrawal, and depression
- Difficulty with speech, swallowing, and jaw movement
Diagnosis of Dystonia
- Urine or blood test
Blood or urine tests help reveal the toxins signs or of other health conditions.
Electromyography measures the electrical activity within the muscles.
- CT scan or MRI
CT scan or MRI are the imaging tests that can spot abnormalities in the brain like lesions, stroke evidence, or tumours.
- Genetic Testing
Some dystonia forms are associated with specific genes. Knowing whether such genes are present in the body can help guide the treatment.
Treatment of Dystonia
Home remedies and Lifestyle
Though the disease has no cure, you can adopt several good routines to minimize the effects:
- Stress management
You gotta learn some practical coping skills to manage stress like deep breathing, positive self-talk, and social support.
- Sensory tricks to diminish spasms
Touching specific parts of the body may cause the spasms to stop temporarily.
- Cold or heat
Applying cold or heat can help lessen muscle pain.