Dystonia is an incurable movement disorder that causes involuntary muscle spasms. In some cases, these muscle spasms are painful.
At Dignity Health Southern California, our treatments for a dystonia are focused on easing symptoms and improving quality of life. Treatment options vary depending on if the condition is generalized (affecting the whole body) or focal (affecting only one muscle group). Treatments for dystonia generally include:
- Oral medications
- Botulinum toxin
- Nerve surgery
- Deep brain stimulation
- Supportive services and therapy
Our team of expert neurologists and specialists offer personal care for neurological conditions at our state-of-the-art hospitals throughout the area. Find a Doctor using our online tool to make an appointment to learn more about our advanced options for dystonia treatment in Southern California.
Oral Medications for Dystonia
Medications are available to block or slow down signals produced by neurotransmitters.
Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain that control communication between the brain and the rest of the body. By inhibiting this communication, these medications can reduce muscle spasms and other symptoms.
You may also receive a prescription pain reliever if you experience painful tremors as a result of your condition.
Botulinum Toxin for Dystonia
During this procedure, botulinum toxin is injected into spasmodic muscles to inhibit contractions. Botulinum toxin injections are typically used to treat focal forms of dystonia, such as blepharospasm (eyelid twitching). The effects of botulinum toxin injections are temporary and require re-injection every few months.
Nerve Surgery for Dystonia
Surgery to sever nerve fibers may be recommended for severe cases of dystonia with uncontrolled twisting and jerking motions. With this surgery, your doctor at Dignity Health Southern California can stop the involuntary contracting of muscles by surgically disconnecting abnormally firing nerve fibers from the muscle.
Deep Brain Stimulation for Dystonia
Deep brain stimulation involves a surgical procedure to implant a device that disrupts the excessive electrical signaling in the brain thought to be responsible for involuntary muscle movement. In order to qualify for deep brain stimulation surgery, you must have a severe case of dystonia that has not responded well to other treatments.
Supportive Services for Dystonia
People with moderate to severe cases of dystonia may benefit from speech therapy, occupational therapy, or physical therapy. These supportive services focus on helping you improve and maintain coordination and vocalization.
Considering Your Treatment Options at Dignity Health Southern California
Your doctor at Dignity Health Southern California will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan that addresses your specific dystonia symptoms. When discussing your treatment goals with your doctor, be sure to ask about the risks and benefits of all proposed treatment options. Dignity Health offers comprehensive treatment plans for all types of dystonia in Southern California.