Does dystonia get progressively worse over time?

Dystonia symptoms may stabilize after a period of time, or may continue to progress over time. Effective treatment can prevent or slow progression. Dystonia that begins in childhood is more likely to spread to multiple body parts and more likely to be associated with additional movement and neurological symptoms. Dystonia that develops during adulthood is more likely to remain focal to a specific body area.


Within five years after symptoms begin, dystonia stabilizes for most people. Symptoms do not get worse or spread. However, this is not the case for generalized dystonias, which are often hereditary. Many people with generalized dystonia begin experiencing symptoms of the disease as children, and they get progressively worse.

Continue Learning about Dystonia


When your muscles contract involuntarily, the condition is called dystonia. Dystonia causes a twisting or clenching of whatever body part is affected. For example, when you have a stroke, the affected arm and hand may be clenched ...

and held in a strange position. Dystonia can be very mild or very severe. It can make your life very difficult and this can lead to frustration, depression or anxiety. See your doctor to treat your symptoms and talk over your frustrations.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.