How is physical therapy used in the treatment of dystonia?

Physical therapy may help treat the secondary conditions that go along with dystonia. Many forms of dystonia affect mobility, posture, balance, stamina and the ability to complete everyday tasks.

With the help of a physical therapist and doctor, you can learn how to recognize compensatory movements and habits that may have developed because of your dystonia. PT and stress management together can help you achieve increased awareness and control of your movement, environment and symptoms. It also will help you address complications that may result from the dystonia.

PT teaches you:
  • to become aware of activities that worsen your symptoms
  • beneficial substitute methods
This understanding may help improve motor control. Physical therapy also may enhance the benefits from medications and botulinum toxin injections.

Physical therapy is a slow process that should be approached with commitment and optimism. Results may not be seen right away. However, a physical therapy program can influence many aspects of daily living.

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.