Dystonia is a neurological condition causing involuntary muscle spasms resulting in atypical movements or postures. Dystonia is an umbrella term covering several presentations and is  unique to the individual.  Spasms can be short or long, they can also be awkward and sometimes manifest in painful positions.  Tremor (shaking) and athetosis (writhing movements) can also be a characteristic of some types of dystonia.

Presentation of symptoms vary tremendously according to the individual.  They affect different parts of the body with the most common areas in adults being the neck and eyes.  It can affect one or two parts, most common in the adult, but with children it can often generalise to affect multiple parts of the body.

The cause varies and is unidentified in a high proportion of cases, although some identified causes include brain lesions and gene mutations.  It is thought to be a result of differences in the basal ganglia, the movement control area of the brain.

At the Bobath Centre we offer a comprehensive assessment working with you to identify areas we can help to address and manage.  This includes identifying not only the primary problem related to the dystonia, but any secondary problems occurring as a knock-on effect.  Although we cannot offer a cure, we use highly skilled handling techniques to treat the neurological problems caused by dystonia.  We aim to improve postural changes, maintain range of movement, and reduce secondary impacts such as pain, with the goal of maintaining or improving independence.

We work in partnership with you to take an analytical problem-solving approach that is individualised.  Treatment plans are guided by tailored functional goals and outcome measures.

Over time we will also work with you to develop a highly specific home programme to support 24-hour management, with the aims of reducing any associated pain symptoms and maximising a person’s function and independence.

Treatment can be delivered in a range of different formats and is decided on an individual basis, this can range from six-monthly reviews to intensive bursts of treatment for a couple of weeks or more.

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