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Diagnosis of Dystonia and Complications

Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju
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Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju

Dystonia is a neurological ailment. It’s characterized by involuntary muscle flexions. It leads to twisting and repetitive movements or abnormal postures. While it predominantly affects adults, the illness can manifest in people of any age. 

This article delves into the intricacies of the diagnosis of dystonia. And it explores the potential complications associated with this challenging condition.

Stay with us. Read the article to the end. And get all the necessary answers to questions about dystonia for your healthy life.


How to Diagnose Dystonia

How to Diagnose Dystonia

Exploring the complexities of ailment detection necessitates a thorough and intricate assessment. The intricate process involves a multifaceted approach. There, physicians depend on a synthesis of:

  • Medical records.
  • Meticulous physical check-up.
  • Cutting-edge tools.

This comprehensive diagnosis of dystonia is paramount for achieving an accurate assessment. By delving into a patient’s medical background, conducting detailed physical assessments, and leveraging advanced technologies, healthcare professionals can unravel the nuanced manifestations of ailment.

This approach not only enhances precision. It also facilitates tailored treatment strategies, promoting improved patient outcomes. In essence, the multifaceted nature of ailment necessitates a thorough examination, amalgamating various facets of medical expertise and technological advancements for an in-depth understanding and accurate identification of this ailment.

Genetic Testing

In cases where a familial history of ailment is present, a genetic dystonia test may help. Identifying genetic markers can provide valuable insights into the underlying causes. It aids in both assessment and treatment planning.

Medical Records

One of the primary steps in assessment involves gathering detailed medical records. Doctors inquire about the onset of signs, their progression, and any potential triggering factors. Understanding the overall health and any familial history of ailments is crucial. This is especially true in establishing a baseline for assessment.

Physical Examination

A thorough check-up is essential in the diagnosis of dystonia. It’s to observe and document the characteristic muscle flexions and abnormal postures. They’re associated with ailment. Neurologists often pay close attention to the distribution and pattern of muscle involvement. It helps them differentiate this ailment from other movement ailments.

Diagnostic Imaging

Advanced imaging techniques play a crucial role in the assessment of ailment. They’re magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scans. These imaging modalities help rule out other potential causes of symptoms. Those are structural abnormalities or brain lesions.

Electromyography (EMG)

EMG is a procedure that measures the electrical activity of muscles. This dystonia test helps confirm the presence of an illness. It detects abnormal muscle flexions and patterns. EMG can also aid in differentiating this ailment from other neuromuscular ailments.

Blood Tests

Certain blood tests may be conducted. It’s to rule out metabolic or systemic conditions that could mimic ailment signs. These tests help ensure a comprehensive approach to assessment. And they guide physicians toward the most effective treatment strategies.


Dystonia Complications

What complications can occur with dystonia

Beyond the challenges of assessment, people often face a range of complications. They can significantly impact their quality of life. Understanding these potential complications is crucial for patients and healthcare professionals. It helps in developing comprehensive management strategies. The typical complications are:

  • Functional Impairment. The impact of this ailment on daily functioning is profound. The involuntary flexions and abnormal postures can interfere with activities of daily living. They’re walking, writing, or even speaking. This functional impairment can lead to a reduced quality of life. And it increases dependence on others for basic tasks.
  • Psychosocial Challenges. The visible nature of ailment signs can lead to psychosocial challenges. It includes stigma and social isolation. People may experience feelings of embarrassment or self-consciousness. It’s due to their abnormal movements, impacting their mental health and overall well-being.
  • Chronic Pain. Chronic pain is a common dystonia complication. The sustained muscle flexions can cause discomfort and pain. It affects various parts of the body. Managing chronic pain in people with the ailment often requires a multidisciplinary approach. It involves medications, physical therapy, and psychological support.
  • Secondary Musculoskeletal Issues. Prolonged muscle flexions can lead to secondary musculoskeletal issues. They’re joint contractures and skeletal deformities. These complications can further exacerbate functional limitations. And they require additional interventions, including orthopedic assessments and interventions.
  • Speech and Swallowing Difficulties. The ailment can lead to significant communication and nutritional challenges. Speech therapy and dietary modifications may be necessary. It’s to address these dystonia complications and improve overall quality of life.


Rehabilitation and Supportive Therapies

Rehabilitation and Supportive Therapies for dystonia

The process and understanding of complications are crucial aspects. However, it’s equally important to highlight the role of rehabilitation and supportive therapies. They help enhance people’s overall well-being.

Rehabilitation programs play a pivotal role in addressing functional impairment and musculoskeletal issues. They include physical therapy and occupational therapy. They focus on improving mobility, strengthening muscles, and developing adaptive strategies. It’s to cope with daily challenges and dystonia complications.

Moreover, supportive therapies can significantly contribute to managing psychosocial challenges associated with illness. They are counseling and support groups. Providing a platform to share experiences, express concerns, and receive emotional support can help alleviate feelings of isolation and enhance mental well-being.

An integrative approach to ailment management should not only encompass accurate assessment and medical interventions but also emphasize the importance of rehabilitation and supportive therapies. Addressing both the physical and emotional aspects, doctors can work towards comprehensive care. It empowers people to navigate the complexities of living with an ailment.



The diagnosis of dystonia types requires a comprehensive approach. It integrates medical records, physical check-ups, and advanced tools. Genetic testing, imaging, electromyography, and blood tests are vital.

Also, people may face various complications. They range from functional impairment and pain to psychosocial challenges. Recognizing these complications is essential for healthcare professionals. It’s to tailor effective treatment plans that address both the physical and emotional issues.

Research continues to unravel the complexities of ailment. Advancements in techniques and therapeutic interventions offer hope for improved outcomes and a better quality of life for people grappling with this challenging ailment.



What are the main challenges in diagnosing dystonia?

Diagnosing dystonia poses challenges. It’s due to:

  • The variability in signs.
  • Overlap with other disorders.
  • Delayed recognition.
  • The genetic complexity associated with some cases.

Are there any specific tests for diagnosing dystonia?

Yes, they’re EMG, MRI, CT scans, genetic testing, blood tests, and an examination by a neurologist.

Can dystonia lead to other health problems?

Yes, dystonia can lead to various health problems. It includes functional impairment, chronic pain psychosocial challenges, secondary musculoskeletal issues, and speech/swallowing difficulties. Managing these complications is essential. It’s for improving the quality of life for individuals with dystonia.

What treatment options are available for dystonia?

It includes medications, botulinum toxin injections, physical therapy, and, in some cases, surgery. The choice of treatment depends on the type and severity of dystonia. A neurologist or movement disorder specialist can help determine the most suitable approach.

Is dystonia a progressive condition?

Dystonia’s progression varies among individuals. Some may experience a stable or even improving condition. Others may see a gradual worsening of signs. Regular monitoring by healthcare professionals is crucial. It’s to adjust treatment plans and provide appropriate support as needed. 

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Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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