Cervical Dystonia & Botulinum Toxin Injections
Cervical dystonia is a neurological movement disorder of the neck. It typically occurs in people over the age of 40. The disorder produces abnormal movement and postures of the neck and head, which is caused by muscles that contract involuntarily.
Mechel Henry, M.D.
Physiatry & Medical-Legal Consulting
Symptoms vary from mild to severe and muscular spasms may cause pain and discomfort in and around the neck and head. Though the disease may worsen, it is not life threatening. Every case of cervical distonia is unique. Therefore, it is difficult to accurately predict when it may change or whether or not it will progress.  
The cause of cervical dystonia is thought to be the result of abnornal functioning of an area located deep within the brain that is involved in controlling movement. Researach is ongoing in terms of better understanding this abnormality.
There is no known cure to date. However, the most effective treatment is Botulinum toxin (Botox) injections. Although Botox is known as a cosmetic treatment for facial lines, it was originally developed in 1989 as a drug to treat dystonia and muscles spasms. Botox injections are effective in weakening the muscles affected by spasm, thus relaxing the spasm and relieving dystonia.
Injections typically need to be repeated every 3 months. An electromyogram is sometimes used to identify the appropriate muscles to inject. Based on a complete diagnosis, Dr. Henry uses Botox injections in treating cervical dystonia.
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