Dystonia treatment must be highly customized.

Although there is presently no cure for dystonia, multiple treatment options are available. No single strategy will be appropriate for every case.

The purpose of treatment for dystonia is to help lessen the symptoms of muscle spasms, pain, and awkward postures. The ultimate goal is to improve the quality of your life and help you function with the fewest side effects possible. In most cases, the most appropriate kind of doctor to treat dystonia is a movement disorder neurologist. Establishing a satisfactory treatment plan requires open communication and patience on the part of both the affected individual and the physician. Make the effort to locate the most experienced physician you can, and someone with whom you feel comfortable.

The first step in treating dystonia is to determine as much as possible about the underlying cause. Information about the cause of dystonia may direct the course of treatment. For example, a person with dystonia associated with another neurological disorder may require a slightly different approach to address the underlying cause than a person with a primary focal dystonia.

Treatment options for dystonia generally consists of a combination of therapies. In addition to medications and surgery, complementary therapies and supportive therapies may be helpful. Treating dystonia is most successful when the overall treatment plan addresses the whole person: body (physical medicine), emotions (mental health), and spirit (patient support). The treatment plan should address each of these areas.

Treating dystonia is an art as much as it is a science, indivdiuals should feel compelled to locate the most well-trained and experienced doctor you can find. The DMRF can help you locate the nearest, most experienced physician. Travel may be required to access the most appropriate specialist. Before making an appointment, feel free ask the office personnel which doctor you will be visiting, where he/she was trained, and how many other patients he/she has treated the form of dystonia for which you are being treated.

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The Dystonia Medical Research Foundation (DMRF) has served the dystonia community since 1976. Join us in our global effort to find a cure.