Cervical dystonia: symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

Cervical dystonia is a disease that causes you to often experience neck spasms, and these muscle spasms cause a lot of pain. SignsSymptomsList would like to send you an article that provides basic information about this syndrome.


1. Overview of neck dystonia

Cervical dystonia is a movement disorder characterized by involuntary muscle contractions. Causes unusual movements such as neck and head being turned to one side.

Neck dystonia can also cause your head to tilt forward or backward uncontrollably.

It is a rare disorder and can affect people of any age. But cervical dystonia often occurs in middle-aged people, more women than men. Symptoms usually begin gradually and then reach the most severe.

There is no known cure for cervical dystonia. This disorder sometimes goes away on its own without treatment. But in most cases, the disease does not go into remission. Injecting botulinum toxin into the affected muscles often relieves the signs and symptoms of cervical dystonia. Surgery may be appropriate in some cases.

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Cervical dystonia: symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

                                                             Stiffness is a common symptom

2. Cause

In most people with cervical dystonia, the cause is unknown. Some people with cervical dystonia have a family history of the disorder. Researchers have found gene mutations associated with cervical dystonia. Cervical dystonia is also sometimes associated with head, neck, or shoulder trauma.

The danger elements

Risk factors for cervical dystonia, include:

  • Age. Although the disorder can occur in people of any age, it usually begins after the age of 30.
  • Your gender. Women are more likely to develop cervical dystonia than men.
  • Family rent. If a family member has cervical dystonia or some other type of dystonia, you are at higher risk of developing the disorder.

3. Symptoms

The muscle spasms associated with cervical dystonia can cause your head to rotate in many different directions, including:

  • Chin turned towards the shoulder
  • Or facing upwards
  • Chin facing down

The direction of rotation most commonly associated with neck dystonia is when the chin is rotated toward the shoulder. Some people have experienced rotation directions that are a combination of two or more basic rotation directions together. Jerky movements of the head may also occur.

Many people with neck dystonia also have neck pain that can radiate down to the shoulder. This disorder can also cause headaches. In some people, the pain of neck dystonia can cause fatigue and reduced ability to function.

Complications of cervical dystonia

In some cases, the involuntary muscle spasms associated with cervical dystonia can spread to nearby areas of your body. The most common locations include the face, jaw, arms, and torso.

People with cervical dystonia may also have vertebrae such as cervical, thoracic, back, or lumbar vertebrae. This can cause tingling, numbness, and weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet.

4. Diagnosis of neck dystonia

Although a physical exam can often confirm a diagnosis of cervical dystonia, your doctor may recommend blood tests or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to rule out any underlying medical conditions that are causing the symptoms. and the above symptoms.

Cervical dystonia: symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

                                                      Clinical examination is sufficient for diagnosis

5. Treatment

There is no specific cure for cervical dystonia. In some people, signs and symptoms may go away without treatment. But relapses are more common. Treatment usually focuses on relieving signs and symptoms.

Internally medical treatment

Botulinum toxin, a paralytic agent commonly used to smooth facial wrinkles. Used for direct injection into the neck muscles affected by cervical dystonia. Botulinum toxin drugs include Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, and Myobloc.

Most people with neck dystonia see an improvement with injections of this class of drugs. And it usually has to be repeated every three to four months.

To improve results or to help reduce the dose and frequency of botulinum toxin injections, your doctor may also recommend oral medications that relax muscles.

Cervical dystonia: symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

                                                       Injections are becoming a popular treatment method

Therapeutic methods of cervical dystonia

  • Physical therapy or occupational therapy helps relieve symptoms and improve muscle function.
  • Speech therapy if the disease affects the voice.
  • Stretch or massage to relieve muscle pain.
  • Stress management. Signs and symptoms of cervical dystonia tend to worsen when you're stressed. So it's also important to learn stress management techniques

Surgery and other procedures

If symptoms become severe, the patient may need surgery:

  • Deep brain stimulation. When dystonia is disabling, deep brain stimulation is a useful option. The electrodes are implanted in a specific area of ​​the brain and connected to a battery-powered stimulator implanted in the chest. The electrical stimulator sends electrical impulses to the brain that help control contractions. The frequency and intensity of the electrical pulses can be adjusted.
  • Selective surgical resection. This surgery involves cutting the nerves that help control contractions. Used if other treatments fail.

Lifestyle and home remedies

The following home remedies can reduce the effects:

  • Sensory stimulation to relieve spasms. Touching certain parts of the body can cause the contractions to go away temporarily.
  • Heat or cold. Hot or cold compresses can help relieve muscle pain.
  • Stress management. Usually by deep breathing, meditation, yoga, practicing positive thinking, and participating in social activities.

Although there is no cure, current methods are still effective in limiting the symptoms and complications of the disease. So if you are suffering from this condition, stick to treatment. And especially physical therapy methods will help you improve your life.