Cervical Dystonia


This movement disorder causes your neck muscles to contract. Your head may turn or tilt. This can happen in brief spasms, or it can be a constant contraction. You can't control it, and it may be painful. Cervical dystonia can disrupt your daily life.


What are the causes? Often, we don't know the exact cause. Some forms of this disorder are inherited. It can also be caused by neurological problems like multiple sclerosis, stroke and diseases that affect the brain. It can result from injury, surgery and radiation treatment for cancer. It can also be caused by some medications. Ask your doctor for a full list of causes.


What are the symptoms? With cervical dystonia, you have spasms that cause your head to turn or tilt to one side. It may tilt forward or backward. Or, you may have some combination of these movements. The symptoms may be worse when you're feeling stressed or excited. You may have pain that radiates through your neck and shoulders. And you may have headaches.


How do we treat it? We can give you medications. We can give you injections of botulinum toxin. You may benefit from things like deep brain stimulation and nerve surgery. And, we may recommend lifestyle changes and various therapies. Your doctor will create a plan that's right for you.