What is Dystonia?

Medical academic and clinical neurology defines Dystonia as a movement disorder in which a person’s muscles contract uncontrollably.

The contraction causes the affected body part to twist involuntarily, resulting in repetitive movements or abnormal postures.

Dystonia can affect one muscle, a muscle group, or the entire body.

Dystonia affects about 1% of the population.

What Are the Symptoms of Dystonia?

Symptoms of dystonia can range from very mild to severe. Dystonia can affect different body parts, and often the symptoms of dystonia progress through stages. Some early symptoms include:

A “dragging leg”
Cramping of the foot
Involuntary pulling of the neck
Uncontrollable blinking
Speech difficulties

Stress or fatigue may bring on the symptoms or cause them to worsen.

People with dystonia often complain of pain and exhaustion because of the constant muscle contractions.

What came first? The chicken or the egg?

Mainstream academic Neurology defines Dystonia as a neurological disorder with physical movement consequences.

In reality, Dystonia is a physical injury that has neurological consequences.

It is an impairment of the ability of the neck to support the skull.

It is similar to triple broken ligaments in the knee…. except the injury is at the level of the upper cervical and lower cranial areas (TMJ, dental occlusion and sphenoid bone).

Dystonia sits between Traumatology, Dentistry, TMD, Orthopedics and Neurology.

It is a physical injury of the upper cervical, lower cranial area.

This bio-mechanic approach has been around for decades with proven results. It is not mainstream because of the way medical academia organizes research and teaching in separate systems.

And it is not mainstream because there is no money from Big Pharma to fund bio-mechanic clinical studies and research.

The protocol we developed does not invent anything new. In the Resources section of this blog you can find 100 downloadable peer reviewed academic research papers, case studies and FDA approved clinical trials that deal with the biomechanics of neurological movement disorders.

The Bio-Mechanical Impairments of Dystonic Patients

It is extremely important to point out that the medical definition of «Dystonia» does not define a specific disease.

Dystonia means «dysfunctional muscle tone». It is a description of a very extensive range of symptoms, disfunctions, injuries and deaseases that may coexist and might be unrelated.

Patients who have been diagnosed with Dystonia by a neurologist usually present some or all of the following bio-mechanical symptoms:

– Cranial collapse and derangement

 

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Collapse and derangement of cranial bones results in the axis of the plane of dental occlusion being out of alignment with the axis of the skull and the spine

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Postural collapse and lateral-frontal sinking skull

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Subluxation and misalignment of upper cervical vertebrae

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Unstable Centric Relation lateral to Max Intercuspation

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Displaced condylar disk

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Torsion of the spine, postural collapse, scoliosis, neurological movement disorders (dystonia, Tourette, Parkinson, blepharism, etc.) happen when ONE CONDYLAR DISK IS ANTERIORLY DISPLACED and the OTHER IS POSTERIORLY DISPLACED.

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A pathologic ocular tilt reaction

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Resulting in asymmetric input to the central nervous system and a tilt in the subjective visual vertical perception.

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 How to Explain Dystonia

One common problem of people living with Dystonia is being able to explain its neurogical symptoms to other people.

Dystonia is a rare desease-condition. Most people have never heard of it and do not understand it. It is common, even for uninformed medical professionals, to believe that it is a psychological issue.

I find that the best way to explain it is through a short introduction and a video.

It is a movement disorder with neurological symptoms which make muscles go into spasm so that the chin is pulled and tilted, the head turns sideways and the spine twists (or whatever your symptoms are). 

The body has a twisted perception of alignement, verticality and the horizon and constantly pulls the spine to a twisted, unnatural, misaligned position.

It is related to Parkinson’s and Tourette.  

 
A simple explanation is often best, and a video reference speaks more than a thousand words. This video produced by the Oprah program can help.





Navigate Through this Blog

To further understand our reasearch, approach and method, please read:

A Bio-Mechanical Approach to Dystonia
An introduction to the theory and analysis that support the pilot research project to use an adaptive intraoral appliance to treat and possibly cure Secondary Idiopatic Cervical Dystonia.

Principles of Splint Therapy
A description of the principles on which we base our protocol for the treatment of Cervical Dystonia and other occlusion realated movement disorders with varying degrees of neurological symptoms (from Tourette’s, to postural collapse, Parkinson’s and Generalized Dystonia).

Protocol for the Treatment of Cervical Dystonia

A step by step description of the 3 phases of the DIY protocol that we have developed for the treatment of Cervical Dystonia.

The Molar Lever

Our analysis of the bio-machinics of the Molar Lever and how dental occlusion is related to posture and skeletal allignment.>

Phases of Lateral Postural Colapse

Our analysis of the descending skeletal and postural effects of a collapsing and twisting skull that does not find adequate support in the dental arches.

The Rectifier

A description of the adaptive intra-oral aplliance -dental splint – that we use to treat Cervical Dystonia and the orthopedic forces that it produces by progressively pushing the mandible in retrusion, maxila in extrusion and elevating the skull by stretching and aligning the cervical vertebrae.

Resources

Bibliography and links to scientific research on the treatment of Dystonia and other neurological movement disorders with a bio-mechanical approach.

Postural Colapse and Dental Arches

A set of animations that present grafically the type of skeletal and postural effects that we intend to produce over a few months by modifying occlusion and the direction of forces between the skull and the mandible.

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