Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder that causes involuntary muscle contractions. This condition may cause slow and repetitive tremor-like movements or unusual postures.

It results from an abnormality in the basal ganglia – a part of the brain that controls movements. These abnormal movements may affect the face, eyelids, vocal cords, arms, hands, legs, or feet. Dystonia may affect one part of the body (focal dystonia), two or more parts (segmental dystonia), or various parts of the body (general dystonia). It starts slowly but may get progressively worse, affecting one’s daily activities.

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    Symptoms of Dystonia

    Symptoms of Dystonia

    Following are some of the most commonly observed symptoms of Dystonia in people.

    • Eyelids: Rapid and involuntary blinking
    • Neck: Sudden twist and turn on one side
    • Jaw or tongue: Difficulty chewing, swallowing, slurred speech
    • Vocal cords: Tremors in voice
    • Muscle Spasm throughout the body
    • Hand/arm: Uncontrollable twisting in hand or arm
    Dystonia treatment

    Diagnosis for Dystonia

    Diagnosis of dystonia is not a single-step process and requires a series of tests to get a definitive answer. Your doctor will evaluate your systems and perform a physical exam to diagnose this condition. Other tests may include:

    • Genetic tests to find any gene mutations
    • Blood, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid tests
    • MRI & CT Scan
    • EEG (Electroencephalography)
    • EMG (Electromyography)
    A doctor explaining treatment of Dystonia to her patient

    Treatment for Dystonia

    Depending upon the condition of the patient, Dystonia can be treated with surgical or non-surgical methods:

    • Medications and physical therapy are used to treat muscle spasms and twisting.
    • Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is a surgical process in which a battery-powered stimulator is implanted in the brain to help control involuntary movements.

    Why choose Us?

    Get the best treatment for Dystonia in Los Angeles by Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe who is a well-renowned Neurosurgeon in Los Angeles. She serves at Southern California Brain & Spine Surgery where you will have:


    Advanced diagnostic methods


    State-of-the-art technology


    Minimally Invasive Surgery


    Patient-centered approach


    Recovery with less downtime


    Outstanding patient care

    For more information call us at 213-369-4583 or visit our office in Los Angeles today!

    Frequently Asked Questions about Dystonia

    What are the causes of dystonia?

    There is no specific cause of dystonia. It might be caused due to an abnormality or damage to the basal ganglia or any other part of the brain that controls the body’s movements.

    What is dystonia life expectancy?

    Focal and segmental dystonia are life-threatening. However, general dystonia can affect various parts of the body that may affect major body functions causing life-threatening conditions.

    Does dystonia occur overnight?

    Most patients develop dystonia over time. However, conditions like rapid-onset dystonia-parkinsonism may develop within hours or days but it’s rare.

    Does dystonia affect the heart or other organs?

    No. Dystonia does not affect heart muscles. However, it may affect vocal cords which may cause shortness of breath.

    Does Dystonia affect bones?

    No. Dystonia does not affect bones primarily. However, the abnormal posture caused by muscle spasms may stress the bones causing excessive wear in the affected area.