person with dystonia typing on keyboard

Dystonia diagnoses have been on the increase in Ottawa and across Canada in recent years.

As more is understood about dystonia – its symptoms, causes, diagnosis and treatment – we’re seeing a significant advancement in dystonia patients being treated and able to lead better lives.

We’re also seeing a fair amount of questions about dystonia – what it is, what it isn’t, how to treat dystonia and much more. That’s why we’ve put together this article for you, to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about dystonia.

What is Dystonia?

diagnosing person with dystoniaDystonia is, at its essence a movement disorder. It affects the muscles, causing involuntary muscle spasms and contractions. This stems from a neurological malfunction, where opposing muscles contract at the same time, causing:

  • Repetitive, twisting movements
  • Awkward, irregular posture
  • Isolated spasms & contractions (focal dystonia), or
  • Spasms & contractions all over (general dystonia)

Dystonia’s symptoms of spasms & contractions can range from mild to moderate to severe.

Is There a Cure for Dystonia?

Unfortunately, as of yet there is no cure for dystonia.

That’s the bad news.

Reasons for optimism, however, are presenting themselves at an increasing pace.

Dystonia treatment is advancing both in efficacy as well as availability. At Broadview Spine & Health Centre, for example, we are making great strides with dystonia treatment in Ottawa, helping people overcome many dystonia symptoms and live better lives.

How Does Dystonia Affect One’s Day to Day Life?

person with dystonia playing piano

Dystonia symptoms can, sadly, be quite impactful.

For starters, dystonia creates a level of pain that varies from mild to severe. The spasms and contractions of muscles due to dystonia are uncomfortable at best, moving through the pain spectrum down to debilitating.

Furthermore, these dystonia symptoms can also get in the way of day to day activity, affecting a wide range of necessary functions including:

  • Eating
  • Getting dressed / undressed
  • Personal grooming & self-care
  • Working (especially physical labour, but even office work, typing, etc.)

As you can see the extent that dystonia can impact one’s life and livelihood, the importance of dystonia diagnosis and dystonia treatment becomes more evident.

Does Stress Trigger Dystonia Symptoms?

It can!

Now it would be great if we could all wave a magic wand and simply say, “okay, stress, go away now.” But there are ways to mitigate and manage stress, much like mitigating & managing dystonia symptoms themselves.

One of the best ways to alleviate much of the stress that is being caused by dystonia symptoms is to understand what your dystonia diagnoses means, where it’s coming from, how your dystonia symptoms present themselves and bring challenges to your life; and how to treat dystonia so that you can lead a better, more productive, more contented life.

We’ve found that, by providing an accurate and thorough dystonia diagnosis and working with patients to develop a plan for dystonia treatment, their stress level tends to go down in spades.

Will Dystonia Define the Rest of My Life?

person with dystonia suffers spasmsIt doesn’t have to!

While dystonia symptoms can be quite debilitating, the good news is that dystonia treatment is available.

People with dystonia have gone on to lead highly productive lives, surviving and thriving through the rigors of education, careers, relationships and much more.

The important thing is to understand what dystonia is and isn’t – along with diagnosing your unique set of circumstances with regard to dystonia symptoms and degree of challenges presented therein.

How Broadview Offers Dystonia Diagnosis & Dystonia Treatment

If you are experiencing dystonia symptoms and would like to see a specialist who can diagnose dystonia (or rule it out), and you live in Ottawa, Eastern Ontario or the Outaouais, Broadview is here to help.

We’ve worked with hundreds of people who have experienced debilitating, painful dystonia symptoms. Together we’ve been able to diagnose dystonia and develop courses of dystonia treatment.

That’s how we help dystonia patients lead a better life.

To find out more and get started, contact us today.