17 Jun 2019


Dystonia is a disorder that involves involuntary muscle contraction causing monotonous or twisting movements and tremor. It can affect any part of a muscle, a muscle group or the entire body. The spasms usually range from mild to severe.


The exact cause of this disorder is still unknown but it depends upon whether the cause is primary or secondary.

Primary Cause –
  • Problem in one of the part of brain called Basal Ganglia which includes caudate, putamen, and globus pallidus in the cerebrum.
  • Neurotransmitters are produced in the basal ganglia causing improper muscle function.
Secondary Cause –
  • Brain tumors
  • Intake of carbon monoxide
  • Oxygen deficiency
  • Cerebral palsy affecting body movements and muscle coordination
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Infections like Encephalitis, TB or HIV
  • Mental stroke, traumatic brain or spine injury
  • Wilson’s disease


  • Dragging of foot and toes
  • Foot cramps
  • Cervical Dystonia involves involuntary pulling of the neck
  • Constant blinking
  • Oromandibular Dystonia – Difficulty in speech


  • Physical disabilities affecting daily activities
  • Problem in vision
  • Problem in jaw movements, swallowing or speech
  • Muscle pain
  • Fatigue
  • Depression and anxiety



  • Certain medications like muscle relaxants, Botulinum toxin etc
  • Physical therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Surgery in severe conditions – Deep Brain Stimulation and Selective Denervation Surgery


  • Estimation shows that Dystonia affects about 1% of the population worldwide.
  • Women are more prone to this disorder than men.

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