Can Cervical Dystonia Ever Go Away on Its Own?

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Neurological disorders as a result of genetics, trauma, or unknown causes can have devastating effects on a person’s quality of life. Muscle spasms, stiffness, and pain limit joint range and reduce the ability to enjoy meaningful daily tasks. At Aether Medicine, in Wayne, PA, board-certified physical medicine and rehabilitation physician Dr. Asare Christian and his team skillfully provide patients with neurotoxin medicine to help alleviate painful symptoms. One of the many neurological conditions our team treats is cervical dystonia.

What is cervical dystonia?

Cervical dystonia, or spasmodic torticollis, is a neurological disorder that causes involuntary muscle contractions in the neck. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and prolonged contractions can cause chronic shortening of the neck muscles. As a result, the head twists into an asymmetric and uncomfortable position, such as the “chin to shoulder” position. When the head is abnormally positioned, it makes it difficult for a person to see correctly and participate in daily activities that require full neck range.

What causes cervical dystonia?

Medical experts are unsure about the exact cause of cervical dystonia, but the latest research has revealed potential links to genetics and environmental factors. Cervical dystonia may also result after injury to the head, shoulders, and/or neck. There is no cure for cervical dystonia, but Dr. Christian and his team at Aether Medicine can help patients minimize and manage their symptoms.

Can cervical dystonia ever go away on its own?

If left untreated, symptoms of cervical dystonia rarely go away on their own. Mild to moderate cases of muscle shortening in the neck can be successfully treated with physical therapy and other rehabilitative exercises. Without some form of intervention, cervical dystonia can worsen over time and affect other muscle groups throughout the shoulders, arms, and trunk. Additional symptoms could include chronic neck pain, headaches, and limited neck mobility.

What is neurotoxin medicine?

Neurotoxin medicine is the medical application of botulinum toxin to treat painful muscle and neurological conditions. Some of the most widely known neurotoxin medicine includes:

  • BOTOX?

  • Dysport?



Neurotoxin medicine is injected directly into the muscle tissue to block chemical signals that cause the muscle fibers to contract. By decreasing the frequency and intensity of the muscle contraction(s), neurotoxin medicine helps reduce associated pain, stiffness, and discomfort.

What are the benefits of neurotoxin medicine for cervical dystonia?

For cervical dystonia, Dr. Christian injects the recommended neurotoxin into each neck muscle that displays involuntary contractions. Once the neurotoxin takes effect, benefits can include:

  • Reduced muscle spasms

  • Increased neck mobility

  • Decreased headaches

  • Reduced neck pain

  • Symmetrical positioning of the head

What other conditions can neurotoxin medicine treat?

Neurotoxin medicine is utilized to treat a wide variety of neurological and musculoskeletal conditions, including:

  • Spasticity

  • Focal dystonia

  • Chronic migraine

  • Excessive drooling

  • Excessive sweating

  • Facial spasms

  • TMJ (temporomandibular joint) pain

  • Chronic back pain

  • Failed back syndrome

How does the treatment process work?

Before treatment, Dr. Christian will perform initial assessments and collect your personal history to help you determine if neurotoxin medicine is a safe and effective treatment path for you. Neurotoxin injections are administered at Aether Medicine in one of our private treatment rooms and take only a few minutes to complete. In most cases, patients will not require anesthesia for the injection but local anesthesia options are available if needed. Once the injections are complete, patients can return home or resume normal daily activities.

How long will it take to notice results?

Many patients will typically notice results within one week after their initial neurotoxin injection. However, treatment results are temporary and only last approximately 3 – 4 months. Consult with Dr. Christian about scheduling follow-up and routine injection appointments to maintain your desired treatment outcomes.

Learn more about cervical dystonia and the benefits of neurotoxin medicine

If you reside near Wayne, PA, and are experiencing pain, stiffness, muscle spasms, and limited joint mobility due to an underlying neurological or musculoskeletal condition, call our team at Aether Medicine today and schedule a consultation. Dr. Asare Christian will walk you through an introduction to neurotoxin medicine and help you decide if treatment is right for you.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.