Although there is presently no cure for dystonia, multiple treatment options are available. Because every person with dystonia is unique, treatment must be highly customized to the need of the individual. 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.
Treatment of dystonia must be highly customized to each individual. 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 will require a slightly different approach that a person with a primary focal dystonia.
The treatment options for dystonia generally consists of several approaches:
- Non-drug Therapies
- Oral Medications
- Physical Therapy
- Voice/Speech Therapy
- Botulinum Toxin Injections
In addition to medications and surgery, complementary therapies and supportive therapies should be pursued. 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, so you should feel compelled to locate the most well-trained and experienced doctor you can find. DMRF Canada 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.