Dystonia is a neurological condition in which motor disorders, prevent sustained contraction of the muscles or muscle groups, and / or repeated movements. It can spread over only a part of the body to almost the whole body.

More common variants include dystonia of the:

  • neck
  • eyelids
  • arm/hands
  • face
  • vocal cords

The causes are very different in nature. There are movement disorders as a result of genetic abnormalities, former muscle, tendon injuries, former nerve injury, other pathology or as a result of medications.

There are strong indications that it is related to disturbed activity and communication between nerve cells in the brain stem and the deep structures below the cerebral cortex.

While fighting a medical approach in trying dystonia symptoms by the muscle(group) to temporarily paralyze (Botox injections), the functional neurological approach to improve the disturbed muscle control.

This is to ensure by the structures in question, directly or indirectly, (via between stations) to excite or to set up activity. Examples include eye exercises, vestibulaire training, light- and sound stimulus.

About dystonia is much unclear and the most commonly used treatment is injecting botox in the muscles involved. As a result, the voltage disappears from the muscle (that is actually paralyzed) and the symptoms may temporarily decrease. New insights in the last years, however, many made it clear about dystonia. So one is in agreement that the cause is not in the muscle itself but in the control of the muscles by the nervous system.

Because research has shown that there are different structures in the nervous system are constantly involved in forms of dystonia. The best known are the so-called basal nuclei that are deep in the brain and different things go wrong in dystonia patients. Also (small) errors in the balance system, the cerebellum and the brain stem play an important role in the development and maintenance of Dystonia.

It is obvious to think that if the problem is in the nervous system, that treatment should be focused on that area. In any case, it will be important to balance, coordination, eye movements, gait and mapping autonomic functions. After all, These are features that provide insight into the affected areas (small brain, basic core, brain stem, balance system). Often this is not done, as for instance in the botox treatment.

Throughout designed to analyze all these aspects around the dystonie complaint we enter the functional neurology to an individual approach focused on problem directly. Using neuroplastische principles the nervous system is trained to improve the complaints patterns.

Abnormal movements
Neurological movement disorders are neurological conditions that result in abnormal or involuntary movements or slowed movements. These are generally classified as hyperkinetic or hypokinetic, which means too little or too much movement. It is a large subdivision. The causes can be very different in nature.

There are movement disorders as a result of genetic abnormalities, former muscle, tendon injuries, former nerve injury, other pathology or as a result of medications. The rationale behind functional neurology is to change the abnormal movement patterns and improve to a normal pattern of movement, without using medication, but with specific stimulation of exercises targeting the affected nerve structures.

Dystonias – involuntary muscle contractions – causes uncontrollable repetitive or twisting movements of the affected body part. Symptoms range from mild to severe and can significantly hinder daily life. Primary dystonia, a condition in which dystonia the only symptom is (with medical examination, no specific cause demonstrable).

Secondary Dystonia, the result of another condition, such as stroke or infection. This form may also be the result of injury, for example, brain injury. Symptoms usually begin locally, for example the foot, hands or neck. It can be generated by a specific action such as writing or increase with stress, fatigue or anxiety. Usually this comes with pain symptoms.

Dystonia is also classified according to the affected body parts.

  1. Focal Dystonia, the most common, only a part of the body is affected. for example cervical dystonia or torticolllis spasmodica.
  2. Segmental Dystonia means that two or more adjacent areas of the body are affected.
  3. Generalized dystonia affects most or all parts of the body.

Some forms of dystonia are hereditary. The impact of Dystonia on quality of life can be considerable, depending on the affected part of the body, the type of Dystonia and severity of muscle contractions.

Areas of the body that may be affected:

  • Eyelids
  • Neck
  • Face
  • Vocal cords
  • Hands and forearm

Causes
The exact cause of dystonia is unknown, but there are strong indications that the activity is related to disrupted and communication between nerve cells in the mesencephalon (upper part of the brain stem) and the basal ganglia (deeper structures under the cerebral cortex). There seems to be an important role for disruption of nerve activity in the superior colliculus (middle brains) where problems with inhibition of sensory and motor signals to find.

The superiore colliculi in the tectum (rear section) of the midbrain, forms a kind of sentinel to detect sudden changes in the environment and respond. The superior colliculi (SC) integrate information from visual, auditory and somatosensory nature. Then generate action for eye fixation and forehead- and arm movements set priority to the incoming information and regulate thereupon random activity.

Treatments
While fighting a medical approach in trying dystonia symptoms by the muscle(group) to temporarily paralyze (Botox injections), the functional neurological approach to improve the disturbed muscle control. This is to ensure by the structures in question, directly or indirectly, (via between stations) to excite or to set up activity.

It supports the ability to fixate during movement. Again, the cerebellum is active and integrates and coordinates both functions. Thus, one is able, with a correct muscle tension (with dystonia is this upset) to function in a sitting, standing or walking posture and movement.