Movement Disorders: Signs, Symptoms & Treatment


Movement disorders are a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to control and produce movement. Depending on the neurological conditions that cause the disorder, they can affect the fluency, speed, quality and ease of body movements. These symptoms can seriously affect a person’s quality of life and interfere with their ability to perform the activities of daily living. Common movement disorders are dystonia, myoclonus, tremors and tics and other neurodegenerative disorders involving the cerebellum and basal ganglia. Broadview movement disorders clinic in Ottawa provides current specialized methodologies in assessing and treating these disorders.

Patient with dystonia

  • Dystonia is classified as a movement disorder that presents as constant or intermittent muscle spasms, movements that are repetitive such as twisting, as well as abnormal postures. Common forms include cervical (neck) dystonia, as well as “writer’s cramp”. There are many causes of dystonia such as trauma, genetics, infection and reaction to certain medications.  In some rare cases, it can be associated with abnormal iron levels in the blood.


  • Myoclonus presents as a jerky movement which is a brief, uncontrolled contraction of a group of muscles or a muscle. Myoclonus can result from damage to the spinal cord or brain and has been linked to many diseases affecting the nervous system such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis and many more.


  • Tremor is the most common movement disorder that can affect multiple body parts. It presents as rhythmic, involuntary movement of one or more body parts, most often in the hands, face, head, trunk, vocal cords and legs. There are many diseases that can cause a person to have a tremor, such as Parkinson’s disease, and less commonly, orthostatic tremor.


  • Tics are voluntary movements that are sudden in nature and can occur anywhere in the body. Eye blinking, toe-curling, vocal outbursts, abdominal tensing, and the most severe form found in Tourette’s syndrome, plus many more.



The first step in any effective treatment of movement disorders is a complete and careful diagnosis.

That is why Broadview – Ottawa’s Movement Discorder Clinic uses the most up-to-date diagnosis involving precise technologies. With these tools, it’s possible to design targeted therapies specifically designed to solve the clients’ neurological challenges.

Depending on the findings of the examination, clinicians design individualized treatment plans and provide the required stimulation to restore balance, re-establish movement patterns and improve function. Most movement disorders are associated with pathological alterations in the basal ganglia or their connections.


Treatment Options

Treatment options can include neurological exercises, chiropractic care and physical rehabilitation. Specialists use different strategies from the list of treatments, depending on the type of movement disorder. One such method is based on harnessing the concept of neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity involves therapies designed to reorganize the structure, function and connections in the brain. The specific non-invasive treatment options and therapies are chosen to create the best course of treatment for the individual.

People suffering from movement disorders may face an inability to work, travel, exercise and perform everyday tasks. Broadview – Ottawa’s Movement Disorder Clinic provides treatments and therapies to help alleviate their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

Contact Broadview Health Centre for more information & treatment options for movement disorders.

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