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By Olivia Walford, Administrator at The Eaves

Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder that affects an estimated 100,000 people in the UK*. Dystonia is the third most common movement disorder, after Parkinson’s and essential tremor, although you may never even have heard of it. Dystonia UK aims to tackle this with events for Dystonia Awareness month in September.

 

What is dystonia?

Dystonia is a disease that causes uncontrollable muscle spasms. It can affect any area of the body including eyelids, neck, face and limbs. People of any age can develop dystonia. Because of the variety of ways that dystonia can present in people, the symptoms can be easy to miss.

Because it can present either from birth or at any time in your life, Dystonia can cause discomfort, pain, social embarrassment and can lead to depression.

 

What causes dystonia?

The cause of dystonia is currently not fully understood; however, it is thought to originate from a chemical imbalance in the basal ganglia**, the part of the brain which controls movement.

 

What treatment options are there?

Dystonia is a lifelong condition, but although there is currently no cure, although scientists around the world are actively pursuing research toward new therapies. There are several treatments that might help to alleviate the symptoms including***:

  • Injections of Botox into specific muscles to relieve tension
  • Physical therapy including massage and stretching
  • Applying gentle heat to the affected muscle
  • Practices that reduce stress, such as yoga or mindfulness

 

How to get involved in Dystonia Awareness Month 2021

Dystonia UK is hosting several events to raise awareness, such as lighting up several British landmarks in green and a national picnic fundraiser. To find out about some of the Dystonia Awareness events happening this September, visit https://www.dystonia.org.uk/pages/faqs/category/dystonia-awareness-month.

 

If you are affected by dystonia or other movement disorders, you might experience anger and loneliness as a result. At The Eaves, we have over 100 therapists that can help by providing support. Our therapists are based across our practices in Guildford, Godalming and Farnham as well as online. They see individuals of all ages, families, couples and young people 12 hours a day, Monday to Saturday between 9am and 9pm. Please call 01483 917000 to speak to a member of the referrals team. You can also send us an enquiry via our website. Click here to find out more.

 

References

*https://www.dystonia.org.uk/what-is-dystonia

**https://www.dystonia.org.uk/what-causes-dystonia

*** https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dystonia/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20350484