Physiotherapy (physio) is tailored exercise, manual therapy or education and advice or a combination of the three that helps to restore your movement and function.


Physio is an ongoing process involving sessions with a specially trained and regulated practitioner called a physiotherapist and a treatment plan of exercise for you to complete at home. Progress is reviewed at follow-up sessions and the exercise regime adjusted as appropriate. As you gain confidence in managing the exercises without support and acquire the ability to integrate what you’ve been shown into everyday life, sessions can become increasingly infrequent.


Physio is mostly used for dystonic cerebral palsy and hand, focal and generalised dystonia. It is suitable for both adults and children.


  • Physio can improve movement and function
  • Its success can be largely within your control


Not all types of physio are suitable for all forms of dystonia and inappropriate exercises or stretching may make symptoms worse. It is important that physio is provided by physiotherapists who know about dystonia, for instance neuro-physiotherapists who specialise in working with people affected by neurological conditions. It is also important to receive guidance from an expert before starting an exercise regime and to be aware that because a regime has worked for one person does not necessarily mean it will work for you.


The outcomes can be significant, but it is not a quick or easy fix. It needs to be approached with commitment and optimism and integrated into everyday day life. Should you encounter any problems or changes in your condition, you will need to discuss this with your therapist.


The NHS website has detailed information on how to access physiotherapy.

Dystonia UK is unable to provide lists of physiotherapists who specialise in dystonia as details change frequently and it is not possible to keep this information up to date.