Last week, we touched on the common movement disorder Dystonia, that causes muscles to spasm involuntarily due to a malfunction in the the neurological mechanism that relaxes muscles when they are not in use. While part one of this two-part post on Dystonia outlined the various forms and signs of Dystonia, today we will discuss treatment options and more specifically, the benefits of using Chiropractic Neurology as an approach to treatment.
Dystonia sufferers today have multiple treatment options and because each patient’s experience with the disorder is unique, it is important that the treatment be personalized to the patient’s own specific set of needs. While Dystonia has no cure, treatment seeks to lessen the symptoms, ultimately providing for a better quality of life and relief from the muscle spasms, pain and sometimes awkward postures that mark the disorder.
As discussed in Part One of this article, the key to understanding Dystonia and finding the best course of treatment is to first determine what type of Dystonia the patient is experiencing and if possible, what the underlying cause is. Dystonia has been linked to approximately 50 other conditions and a patient with Dystonia that is associated with another neurological disorder will require different treatment than a patient with Focal Dystonia. The Doctor treating the patient should perform the most thorough exam possible to determine the best course of action. While there are many treatments from physical therapy, medications, injections and surgery, there are also less invasive, drug-free treatment options that are highly effective and becoming more desirable for Dystonia sufferers.
Chiropractic Neurology is just such a treatment. Chiropractic Neurology uses brain-based therapies that include a variety of exercises tailored to the patient’s needs including:
- Chiropractic adjustments by hand or by instrument to the spine and/or extremities
- Eye exercises
- Balance and coordination activities
- Cognitive exercises and activities
- Sensory training that may include light, sound, smell, or touch
- Physical exercises
- Breathing exercises
- Nutritional modification
- And more…
These treatments seek to restore balance to the central nervous system, improving and restoring the affected areas of the body. Because Chiropractic Neurology treats patients without drugs or surgeries, there is an increasing demand for this type of care, especially among patients who have tried more traditional treatments but have not found relief.
As the treatment plan is customized for each patient, the prognosis is unique to the patient as well. However, more and more patients are reporting fast improvement in symptoms after as little as one treatment. Dr Ellis and his team at the Georgia Chiropractic Neurology Center in Roswell, GA have successfully treated many Dystonia sufferers and provide the one-on-one individualized care that is essential to the care of this disorder.
**Recent research by Dr. Frederick Carrick, DC, PhD, DACNB proved the tremendous effect chiropractic neurologists can have on cervical dystonia when managed in accordance to brain based neurology. The study included 111 subjects in a clinical setting. Patients were treated as determined by physiologic blind spot mapping of the eyes and other neurologic findings. Each subject was treated an average of six times. Follow-ups two months later rated 67.6% had at least a 50% improvement in movement, 55.2% had at least a 50% reduction in tremors, 57.7% had at least a 50% decrease in muscle spasticity and 77.5% had at least a 50% decrease in pain. These results are outstanding and provide hope for dystonic patients looking for non-surgical treatment options.
For more information on Dystonia, please visit the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation’s web page.
**Reference: Carrick, Frederick R. The treatment of cervical dystonia by manipulation of the cervical spine: A study of brain hemisphericity, patient attributes and dystonia characteristics. International Journal of Applied Kinesiology and Kinesiological Medicine 2001; 10:20-36.