Dystonia

Dystonia is a group of brain (neurological) conditions that cause involuntary muscle contractions, which force the body into abnormal, sometimes painful, movements and positions. That's why dystonia is considered a type of movement disorder.

Dystonia may be focal (affecting an isolated body part), segmental (affecting adjacent body areas, or generalized (affecting many major muscle groups simultaneously).

Dystonia: What You Need to Know

Teamwork

Complex neurological conditions are best treated by bringing together teams of professionals that span multiple areas of medicine – from neurologists and neurosurgeons, to neuroradiologists and rehabilitation providers. This team approach brings to your care individuals with diverse medical training who are all dedicated to providing you with the most comprehensive treatment possible.

Personalized Care

While our staff includes multiple specialists who are nationally renowned for their accomplishments, you will find your caregivers to be approachable and caring.  And because neurological conditions often involve unique challenges for patients and their loved ones, we also offer support services personalized to the individual needs of each patient such as counseling, rehabilitation and pain management.

Experienced, Trusted Expertise

At Fletcher Allen, we have an extensive group of highly skilled experts dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the brain and nervous system. As a university hospital, the care we provide is informed and enhanced by education and research, the latest knowledge and techniques and advanced technology.

What is Dystonia?

Dystonia causes uncontrollable twisting or repetitive movements of one or more affected body parts. Affected muscles typically include the neck (cervical dystonia), torso, arms and legs, hands, eyes, face, vocal chords, and/or a combination of these muscle groups.

Dystonia symptoms range from mild to severe, and even may interfere with your everyday tasks. Symptoms may:

  • Include involuntary muscle contractions, such as cervical dystonia where the contractions cause your head to twist and turn to one side, or pull forward or backward, sometimes painfully
  • Begin in a single area, such as your neck, hand or foot
  • Occur during a specific action, such as handwriting
  • Worsen with stress, anxiety or fatigue
  • Become more noticeable or worsen over time

There are many different causes for dystonia including genetic and non-genetic factors.

Diagnosis and Treatment: Dystonia

Learn more about dystonia diagnosis and treatment.

Find a Fletcher Allen Health Care physician or call 802-847-4590.