Dystonia is a little known neurological condition affecting the central nervous system and consists of a group of related movement disorders, characterised by involuntary and often very painful and prolonged spasms of muscle contractions. Recent medical developments means it is now treatable, although it is not yet curable. Different medications can be used but the majority of people now opt for regular injections of Botulinum Toxin which weakens those muscles in spasm thus giving temporary relief, usually lasting about 12 weeks.
There are different names used for dystonia as it affects different parts of the body, e.g. :-
Blepharospasm affects the eyelids causing blinking and closure ,Spasmodic Torticollis affects the neck causing twisting / turning, Writer's Cramp affects the hands, fingers wrist or arm, Oromandibular Dystonia affects the jaw, mouth and tongue, Hemi - Facial spasm affects one side of the face and one eye, Hemi - Dystonia affects an arm and leg on one side of the body, Generalised Dystonia affects the whole body
Research based on the local hospitals has proven that dystonia is the 3rd most prevalent movement disorder after Parkinson's Disease and Benign Essential Tremor and more prevalent than other better known diseases of the central nervous system such as Motor Neurone Disease.
The following pages describe living with the various types of dystonia.