Dystonia Is Often Misunderstood

Dystonia Foundation

Today we have a guest post from our colleague Len Jernigan of North Carolina.

Several years ago I had a client in North Carolina who was an insurance man. While taking some papers out of the back of his car at work he slipped, hit his head and developed a neurological conditon called “Dystonia.” I did some research and discovered that it is a disorder that affects the nervous system, causing muscles to contract involuntarily.

it is a disorder that affects the nervous system, causing muscles to contract involuntarily

Significantly, I also found out it can be caused by trauma, although often dystonia develops without any trauma and may be genetic. The case was denied by the workers’ compensation carrier (and just in case you thought insurance people get any special favors, this case proved that thought incorrect).

Dystonia can be a devastating, long lasting and permanent disease, and like any serious condition it needs to be treated by physcians who are able to diagnose and treat it properly. Options for treatment include botulism toxin (Botox) injections, surgery, deep brain stimulation, and sometimes physical and occupational therapy, and relaxation techniques. It is a physical condition and is not caused by stress, nor is it a psychological or psychiatric condition.

If you know anyone with this condition, they should contact the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation in Chicago at 312-755-0198, or go to its website at www.dystonia-foundation.org. There are thousands of people out there who are willing to help with support, research and information.

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