WHAT IS CERVICAL DYSTONIA?
Cervical dystonia, also known as spasmodic torticollis, is characterized by involuntary contractions of the neck muscles, causing varying degrees of abnormal neck posturing, neck tremor, and/or neck pain. The muscle contractions may be intermittent or long-lasting. The symptoms continue to fluctuate in severity over time, but often plateau within a few years of onset. The estimated prevalence of cervical dystonia ranges from 5 to 30 cases, per 100,000 individuals. Cervical dystonia may begin at any age, but is more common in women between the ages of 40 to 60.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CERVICAL DYSTONIA?
The onset of cervical dystonia is often gradual and may include:
- Neck pain or stiffness
- Abnormal neck posture
- Tremors of the head, neck or hand
WHAT CAUSES CERVICAL DYSTONIA?
The exact causes of cervical dystonia are unknown, however suspected causes include:
- Genetic susceptibility
- Neck trauma
- Exposure to dopamine receptor blocking medications
HOW IS CERVICAL DYSTONIA DIAGNOSED?
- Review of medical history and physical examination
- Imaging modalities and/or EMG studies to rule out underlying causes
- Diagnostic injections
HOW IS CERVICAL DYSTONIA TREATED?
There is no cure for cervical dystonia, however treatment options focus on relieving symptoms:
- Oral medications: which include, but not limited to, muscle relaxants
- Physical therapy
- Massage therapy
- Heat therapy
- Therapeutic injections: steroid, botox, or regenerative injections
- Deep brain stimulation
If you or someone you know is suffering from cervical dystonia, contact us for a consultation with one of our providers at Remedy Pain Solutions.