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What are the treatment options for dystonia?

Treatment of dystonia must be customized to the needs of the individual patient. In general, treatment for dystonia is most successful when it addresses the whole person -- body (physical medicine), emotions (mental health) and spirit. Treatment generally consist of a combination of therapies:

  • medication (oral and injected)
  • surgery
  • complementary therapies
  • supportive therapies

Because the causes and symptoms of dystonia vary, treatment is different for each individual. The aim of treatment is to minimize muscle spasms to help people lead as normal a life as possible. For some people, diagnosing an underlying disorder or stopping the use of a particular medication can help treat the dystonia. Other treatment options include medications, Botox injections, surgery, or deep brain stimulation. Deep brain stimulation involves placing an electrical device in the brain to control muscle spasms.

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) can reduce the intensity and frequency of muscle spasms associated with dystonia, but it isn’t a cure. A doctor will give people an idea of what to expect. DBS can be turned off or taken out if it’s not the best treatment.

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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.