What is the medical treatment for dystonia?

Any treatment plan for dystonia should attempt to reduce your symptoms while also attending to your unique needs. Although dystonia is a movement disorder that effects your  physical body, it  also can affect your emotional and psychological well-being. You may be experiencing disability and pain that can be stressful, and you may be at increased risk for depression and anxiety. Evaluations for depression and anxiety can identify additional options to help improve your quality of life. Addressing secondary effects of dystonia such as fatigue, pain, speech impairment or swallowing difficulties may require special effort but can result in your improved general well-being.

Treatment for dystonia is directed toward decreasing muscle spasms, pain, and awkward postures, and improving quality of life. Doctors may try a number of different treatments or combination of treatments before finding the therapy that is most effective for each person.

Oral medications for dystonia include those that affect the neurotransmitter chemicals involved in the control of muscle movement. These medications may include agents that modulate the levels of acetylcholine, dopamine, or GABA, three brain chemicals that are important for producing normal movement.

Neurologists also treat dystonia with botulinum toxin therapy, a safe and effective treatment that can relax dystonic muscles for several months, allowing people to maintain a more normal posture and movement.

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.