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Evaluating Symptoms of Dystonia


Dystonia is movement disorder in which the muscles contract involuntarily. It can affect a single group of muscles or all muscles in the body.

If you need an accurate diagnosis for symptoms of dystonia in the Bay Area, meet with a Dignity Health neurologist. For personalized care with humankindness, Find a Doctor online today.

Signs & Symptoms of Dystonia

Dystonia can cause problems in one or more areas of the body. These symptoms can be very mild in the beginning and may only occur with stress or physical activity.

Generally, symptoms include:

  • Eyelid twitching
  • Foot drag when walking or running
  • Head or hand tremors
  • Involuntary twisting or jerking motion of the neck
  • Muscle cramps or twitches
  • Problems with speech
  • Voice tremors

Symptoms can get worse over time, so seek the advice of an expert at your nearest Dignity Health.

Diagnosing Dystonia at Dignity Health

The symptoms of many movement disorders are often very similar to each other. For this reason, our neurologists may use several tests to determine or rule out other causes for dystonia symptoms.

Your doctor may start by reviewing your personal and family medical history to check for prior brain injuries or exposure to chemicals or medications that affect the brain. Reflexes and muscle rigidity may also be evaluated.

Additional tests to diagnose dystonia may include:

If the doctor suggests a watch and wait period, you can help by keeping a record of when symptoms occur, how long they last, the severity of each episode, and the circumstances that led up to the episode. Once your Dignity Health doctor determines the cause of the symptoms, together you can discuss your treatment options for dystonia.

For excellence in neurological care, including the assessment of dystonia symptoms, visit a Dignity Health hospital in the Bay Area.