A rare disorder that can occur at any age, even infancy, cervical dystonia most often occurs in middle-aged people, women more than men. Symptoms generally begin gradually and then reach a point where they don't get substantially worse.
There is no cure for cervical dystonia. The disorder sometimes resolves without treatment, but sustained remissions are uncommon. Injecting botulinum toxin into the affected muscles often reduces the signs and symptoms of cervical dystonia. Surgery may be appropriate in a few cases.
- Chin toward shoulder
- Ear toward shoulder
- Chin straight up
- Chin straight down
Most people who have cervical dystonia also experience neck pain that can radiate into the shoulders. The disorder also can cause headaches. In some people, the pain from cervical dystonia can be exhausting and disabling.
- Head, neck or shoulder injuries
- Certain drugs, notably specific antipsychotic or anti-nausea agents
- Age. While the disorder can occur in people of any age, even children, it most commonly begins between the ages of 40 and 70.
- Sex. Compared with men, women are nearly twice as likely to develop cervical dystonia.
- Family history. If a close family member has cervical dystonia or some other type of dystonia, you are at higher risk of developing the disorder.
The disability and pain that can be caused by cervical dystonia may result in depression.
What you can do Because appointments can be brief, plan ahead and write a list that includes:
- Detailed descriptions of your symptoms, including when they started and if anything makes them better or worse
- Information about medical problems you've had in the past, such as strokes or head injuries
- Information about the medical problems of your parents or siblings
- All the medications and dietary supplements you take
- Questions you want to ask the doctor
Inventor Shane Peters