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Dystonia is a term used to describe a group of disorders characterised by involuntary muscle spasms and contractures, which can often be very painful and debilitating. At Liverpool Neuro Physio we understand the effect this can have on your life, and how physiotherapy treatment can help to improve the symptoms.
Dystonia is a neurological condition thought to be caused by an abnormality in the impulses being fired by the nerves from the brain to the muscles. The abnormality causes an increased transmission of impulses to particular muscles in the body, causing overstimulation of the muscles. When a muscle is overstimulated it can go into spasm or repetitively contract without your control.
Over time, repetitive over stimulation of a muscle causes its muscle fibres to become shorter and tighter, resulting structural changes called contractures. Muscle contractures can cause the body to adopt abnormal postures and are often very painful and debilitating.
At Liverpool Neuro Physio our physiotherapists can provide you with treatment aimed at improving your posture and preventing your muscles from weakening. Additionally your physiotherapist can advise you on pain management to make living with dystonia as comfortable as possible.
Dystonia can be classified as primary, in which there is no other identifiable cause for its manifestation, or secondary, in which there is an identifiable cause such as another pre-existing neurological condition, medication or trauma. There are currently five main types of dystonia:
Focal dystonia affects only one part of the body, such as the neck or the arm.
Segmental dystonia affects multiple body parts which are connected together, such as the leg and foot.
Multifocal dystonia affects multiple body parts which are not connected together, such as the right shoulder and the left leg.
Generalised dystonia affects both legs as well as other parts of the body.
Hemidystonia affects one half of the whole body.
Each type of dystonia has a different effect on your body, so the symptoms you present with will depend on the type and the severity of your dystonia. The typical physical effects of dystonia include:
Initially your symptoms of dystonia may be slight and only present themselves in the event of stress, tiredness or after exercise. However such symptoms can become more significant and occur more often. At Liverpool Neuro Physio we can provide neurological physiotherapy treatment to address the on-going physical impairments experienced as a result of your dystonia. Physiotherapy treatment aims to reduce the impact that dystonia has on your life in order to improve your functional independence.
Dystonia can have a dramatic impact on your life. Often contractures experienced as a result of dystonia cause the body to adopt postures in which your range of movement is limited, which can cause difficulty in carrying out simple everyday tasks independently. Additionally contractures experienced as a result of your dystonia are often very painful and debilitating.
The aim of physiotherapy treatment for dystonia is to reduce the severity of muscle contractures and to maximise your functional independence, in order to improve your quality of life. At Liverpool Neuro Physio our experienced physiotherapists provide the following treatments for dystonia:
At Liverpool Neuro Physio your physiotherapist will work closely with you in order to devise a treatment plan which is individual and specific to your needs. Any exercises recommended by your physiotherapist will be relevant to your current level of ability and exercise tolerance. Your goals of treatment will be reviewed regularly as you progress through treatment in order to ensure you get the best out of physiotherapy.
Physiotherapy can successfully manage the problems encountered as a result of dystonia. Benefits of physiotherapy treatment for dystonia may include:
The role of your physiotherapist in the treatment of dystonia is to reduce the impact of muscle spasm and contracture in order to re-establish normal patterns of movement. At Liverpool Neuro Physio your physiotherapist can provide you with an effective plan of treatment in order to re-establish your independent mobility and your functional independence.