Dystonia Specialist

Michigan Neurology Associates & PC

Neurologists & Pain Management Specialists located in Clinton Township, MI & St. Clair Shores, MI

Unexplained and sustained involuntary muscle pulling or contractions in your neck or limbs may be an indication that you have dystonia. At Michigan Neurology Associates & PC, with offices serving the Metro Detroit area in Clinton Township, St. Clair Shores, and Utica, Michigan, the experienced team of neurologists offers on-site diagnostics to identify dystonia-related abnormalities. They also provide innovative treatment options, including Botox® injections, to address involuntary muscle spasms. Learn more about diagnostic tests and treatments available for dystonia by calling the office nearest you or booking an appointment online today.

Dystonia Q & A

What is dystonia?

Dystonia is an involuntary movement disorder that affects your muscles and head or limb posture. The condition causes involuntary contractions in your muscles, often associated with tremors or pain. The muscles involved often become enlarged from this involuntary overuse.

The exact cause of dystonia isn’t clear, but disruption in the brain’s motor control is a factor. You may also be at increased risk for dystonia if other members of your family have it.

In some cases, dystonia can be a side effect of an underlying medical condition, like:

  • Stroke
  • Brain injury
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Wilson’s Disease

You can also develop dystonia due to a reaction to certain medications or exposure to carbon monoxide.

What are the symptoms of dystonia?

Symptoms of dystonia usually start in one area of your body, such as your arm or leg. They can worsen over time, affecting many parts of your body and resulting in:

  • Jaw clenching or opening
  • Slurred speech
  • Forced Eye lid closure
  • Twisted contortions of your neck
  • Unusual hand or finger postures

Some people experience associated tremor activity. Some repetitive activities involving the hands like writing or playing an instrument can cause or bring on the aberrant posture. In spasmodic dysphonia, your vocal cords and voice box may be affected, resulting in changes to your voice like chronic hoarseness or low voice volume.

If left untreated, dystonia can lead to physical disabilities that interfere with your job or daily routines. You may also develop issues with speech and swallowing, as well as chronic muscle pain.

How is dystonia diagnosed?

If you experience symptoms of dystonia, your Michigan Neurology Associates & PC physician performs a physical exam and reviews your medical history. They may order tests, such as blood work or an MRI, to rule out other medical conditions that can cause involuntary muscle movements.

An electromyography (EMG) is a diagnostic test that measures muscle activity, which your physicians may use to detect abnormalities in motor control.

What treatments are available for dystonia?

Initially, your Michigan Neurology Associates & PC physician may recommend medications that work on the neurotransmitter pathways in your brain to limit this movement imbalance.

Focal injection of Botox therapy is also an effective treatment for dystonia. The treatment works by injecting prescription Botox, made from the botulinum toxin, into the affected muscles. Botox temporarily paralyzes the muscles, reducing the severity of the imbalanced contractions.

One treatment of Botox for dystonia can provide symptom relief for four months or longer. Additional injections can help you maintain your results for the long term and reduce episodes of impaired movement control.

Learn more about the benefits of Botox and other treatments for dystonia by calling Michigan Neurology Associates & PC or scheduling an appointment online today.