I have a dystonia that effects my head, neck and right arm.At my last visit to my doctor he said I had contracted muscles of my right arm and neck.What causes this?The muscles become hard as a rock and are very painful.If anyone knows please share the info.Thanks
Dystonia refers to contraction of groups of muscles in such a way to produce an abnormal posture, jerking, or sometimes tremor. For example, cervical dystonia may result in your head being rotated to the right (or left) or having a tendency to jerk that way. Dystonia can affect head/neck and back posture, limbs (arms and/or legs), or even smaller muscles such as facial expression, tongue, or vocal cords.
The brain is responsible for generating the signals to the muscles. There is nothing wrong with the muscles themselves - they are just doing what they are told. Likewise, the nerves communicating this information are doing their job just fine.
There are many causes of dystonia, including "we don't know." In some cases, a specific part of the deep core of the brain is identified as having something wrong. The suspected locations in the brain are called the "basal ganglia" or the "thalamus." Your doctor may suggest an MRI of your head to look. Be aware, however, that in MANY cases the MRI is normal. That just means that whatever the problem is, it is microscopic or biochemical in that particular case rather than anything visible at the gross structural level.
Dystonia is frequently painful. Treatment options include medications such as trihexiphenidyl or clonazepam. Botulinum toxin is also an option.
I hope this helps. As you know, this information is provided for your general medical education only. Specific comments regarding your diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment options must come from your doctor. CCF MD mdf.
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