Your dystonia might be treatable if an underlying cause is found and in such a case a more specific management plan will be discussed with you. For most other dystonia syndromes, these medications might provide some symptomatic relief and often used on a trial-and-error basis:

  • Levodopa-carbidopa (Levocarb)
  • Anti-cholinergics (trihexyphenidyl)
  • Benzodiazepines (clonazepam, diazepam)
  • Baclofen
  • Muscle relaxants (cyclobenzaprine)

Some people may benefit from botulinum toxin injections (click here for more information) especially those with focal dystonias (neck, eyelid, jaw, tongue or limb). These injections should be administered by medical experts. Botulinum toxin injections temporarily weaken muscles to relieve the contractions/spasms and usually need to be injected every 3 to 4 months in most cases. Various non-pharmacological strategies including behaviour and adaptive postural strategies, stretching and relaxation exercises, massage and physiotherapy including heat application can be very helpful in the management of symptoms.

Click here for cervical dystonia exercises (online video demonstration)

There are also adaptive devices and techniques for certain forms of dystonia especially focal dystonias and those who may have dystonic tremor. Click here for more

Surgery (including deep brain stimulation) is another option for more severe or dystonia not responsive to the above. 

Dystonia typically develops over a period of a few months or a few years but generally does not continue to get worse but may spread from one body region to another or additional symptoms may develop.


Please visit the following sites for more information:

Dystonia Fact Sheet (NINDS)

Dystonia UK