New research means new hope for patients suffering from cervical dystonia.
Muscles must contract orderly to both produce or suppress movement. In patients suffering from dystonia there is a chaotic contraction of many muscles in a highly disordered manner. This results in abnormal postures and jerky movements that resemble tremor.
Currently there are few effective treatments for dystonia, the most widely practiced treatment is the use of Botox™ to try and paralyze the unruly muscles.
However, recent research at the University of London suggests that it is not the muscles that are abnormal in patients suffering from dystonia, but rather malfunction in that part of the nervous system that monitors muscle function.
This finding offers the potential to treat the cause of dystonia rather than the symptoms.
In cervical dystonia patients, the alignment of the eyes, head and body become skewed. Because the brain does not receive accurate signals of the relative position of the body parts, the muscles are constantly contracting and “searching” for synchronized alignment of the body. This manifests as the distorted posture and tremor-like symptoms of dystonia.
A new approach to the treatment of dystonia involves enhancing the brain’s ability to precisely monitor the alignment of various body parts. Once this is accomplished, specialized Frame-of-Reference exercises can be implemented to help restore normal alignment of the eyes, head and body in each individual patient. This approach is the first new development in the treatment of dystonia in decades.
We have seen it produce dramatic improvement in the symptoms experienced by our patients with dystonia.
Dr. Kukurin is board-certified in chiropractic neurology and also has completed chiropractic Advanced Practice training through National University of Health Sciences. He has authored a textbook on the treatment of peripheral neuropathy and the results from a number of patient cases from his office have been published in journals indexed in the National Library of Medicine. He has participated in collaborative research with the University of Wisconsin’s Tactile Communication and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory. He maintains active practices in Pittsburgh, PA and Phoenix, AZ