August 23 2016 by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
Dystonia is a movement disorder in which sustained muscle contractions cause twisting and repetitive movements or abnormal postures. This neurological disorder may be inherited or caused by physical trauma, CNS (central nervous system) infection, or as a side effect of prescription or non-prescription drugs and medications.
How common is it?
Dystonias represent the third most common movement disorder after essential tremor and Parkinson's disease.
Acupunct Med. 2010. Effectiveness of acupuncture in cervical dystonia. John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK.
I started taking GABA supplements several months ago when a promotion at work resulted in high stress and chronic insomnia. I had tried numerous other herbal sleep aids and nothing helped in the least, but, seemingly, the GABA worked miraculously when I started taking three 750 mg capsules right upon going to bed. And there was yet another dramatic positive effect . I suffer from chronic and constant spasmodic cervical dystonia. After I started using the GABA the symptoms of the dystonia all but completely went away. Interestingly, I had been taking GABA every night for about four months and stopped suddenly about three weeks ago when I went on a backpacking trip. After I returned from the trip I did not begin taking the GABA again, within about a week my level of stress and anxiety had skyrocketed again and the dystonia symptoms returned unabated (though the symptom that led me to take the GABA in the first place, the insomnia, has not returned.
A. This is interesting, it would be helpful if we had feedback from other users to see whether your results are the exception or the norm.
I suffer with a deteriorating neurological condition named Axial Dystonia and have lately become extremely desperate. I am aware that you are incredibly busy but I would be so very grateful if you could find the time to help me in any way as this disabling condition has torn my world apart and I am still deteriorating. I would of course, be willing to pay for any advice you can offer me and if there is any possibility of an appointment to see you. I will be as brief as I can : In 1998, I suffered a Subarachnoid Haemorrhage with temporary left-sided paralysis. With hard work and determination I made a full recovery, and within ten months I was back to all my ' normal ' activities including working full time. Two years later however I slowly developed dystonia. a neurological involuntary movement disorder which affects approx 36,000 people in the UK. It is a syndrome of spasms and sustained contractions resulting in abnormal postures. Dystonia develops when there is a malfunction in the Basal Ganglia and it is believed that the problem may lie in an area of the Basal Ganglia called Globus Pallidus. The condition has similarities to Parkinsons Disease. Unfortunately, my case is more rare as it affects the muscles in the trunk of my body. It affects my walking ability and general co-ordination and over a period of nearly eight years, I have become significantly disabled. There is currently no cure and the drugs that I have tried have proved to be unsuccessful. My Neurological Consultant at the National Hospital, Queens Square, London who I see once every year has informed me that as my dystonic condition is secondary to the subarachnoid haemorrhage, it is unlikely that I will make a recovery and may continue to deteriorate which is exactly what is happening. Up until now, I have managed to 'stagger' around, but I cannot get much worse before I cannot manage to do even that and I can't tell you how desperate I have become to find something - anything to help me.
A. I am not very familiar with a natural treatment for dystonia. You may wish to visit this anxiety article page and try the different herbs if your doctor approves as a trial and error to see if anything helps. These herbs relax the central nervous system and we have no idea if they would help but if you are desperate, they are worth a try.
Do you have any information on writer's cramp?
Yes, visit this article on writer's cramp therapy.