Dystonia is the name for a group of diseases characterized by sustained muscle contractions.
Dystonia causes sustained muscle contractions that result in involuntary movements, cramps and twists. Especially extremities and the trunk are affected. Dystonia is sometimes limited to one part of the body (focal dystonia), may also affect adjacent body parts (segmental dystonia) or – rarely – even the whole body (generalized dystonia). Dystonia may occur temporarily or sustained.
The most frequent type of dystonia is focal dystonia of the face (eyelid cramp, blepharospasm) and the throat with often painful malposition of the head (wry neck, torticollis spasmodicus). Dystonia may also negatively affect or even make it impossible to chew, write, make music or walk due to the strong sustained muscle contractions in the affected body parts.
Symptoms of dystonia in short:
- temporary or sustaining contractions, twists, cramps of muscles
- especially in extremities and trunk
- affecting one part of the body, adjacent parts of the body or even the whole body
- most frequent type of dystonia is focal dystonia of the face (eyelid cramp, blepharospasm) and the throat with often painful malposition of the head (wry neck, torticollis spasmodicus)
- dystonia may also aggravate chewing, writing, making music, walking or make it impossible