What are the symptoms of dystonia?

Dystonia is a movement disorder. Symptoms include intense, involuntary muscle spasms that make it difficult for people to move their bodies freely and control their body movements. Dystonia causes involuntary, repetitive body movements and/or may cause fixed positions of a body part. 

Because dystonia can affect different parts of the body, symptoms will vary. However, the main symptom of the disorder is uncontrollable muscle spasms that force the body into uncomfortable and unnatural positions. The spasms usually occur while performing certain activities like walking or playing an instrument. Stress, anxiety, or a lack of sleep can make symptoms worse. As time progresses, symptoms become more intense and occur more often.

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.