Botulinum toxin injection

Botulinum toxin injections are used to reduce the excess muscle activity caused by dystonia. The injection enables the botulinum toxin to be targeted directly into the muscles affected by dystonia. The toxin has an effect on the nerves at their junction with the muscles. Read more

Complementary therapy

There are a range of complementary therapies available. All the therapies listed here are offered by Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine. Read more

Deep brain stimulation

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a surgical procedure in which two thin, insulated electrodes are inserted into the brain. These electrodes are then connected by a wire under the skin to a battery usually implanted in the chest or in the abdomen. The battery operates similarly to a pacemaker delivering targeted electrical pulses that block the signals that cause the symptoms of dystonia. Read more


Selective denervation is an operation that has been used for neck dystonia (spasmodic torticollis) for a number of years. It is a surgical operation to cut the nerves controlling the overactive muscles that are causing the symptoms of dystonia. The aim of the operation is to introduce a permanent paralysis to the muscles causing the problems. Read more

Drugs used for dystonia

The symptoms of dystonia can be challenging to manage and it can often take some time to get the balance of medications right to achieve benefits for a person with dystonia. Read more

Occupational therapy

Occupational therapy can help people with dystonia with practical everyday tasks, enabling them to live as independently as possible - at home, in employment or in education. Read more


For focal dystonias, the objective of physiotherapy is to correct the postures and movements affected by dystonia through a set of targeted exercises. For generalised dystonias, physiotherapy is often more focused on living with the dystonic movements in the most effective way rather than trying to correct them. Read more

Speech and language therapy

A number of dystonias can affect speech. Where speech difficulties occur a speech and language therapist (SALT) can sometimes be helpful. Read more