Monday, January 8, 2007

Okay. So! Away we go . . .

Dystonia has, I am told, been recognized as a physical or organic medical condition since approximately the mid 1990s. Prior to that time, forms of dystonia were believed to have been of a psychiatric or emotional origin. In my experience, there are still some medical practitioners, psychologists and other medical professionals, believing many side effects of this condition are psychiatric or psychological traits. Research does not support any suggestion that cervical dystonia is of psychiatric origin. It is firmly established, cervical dystonia is of neurological origin. However, it can still be somewhat difficult to diagnose.

Good neurological assessment is essential. Cervical dystonia is sometimes confused with other diseases of neurological origin. Therefore, many people suffering with cervical dystonia may experience significant delay in obtaining an accurate diagnosis. This frequently leaves people with feelings of extreme irritation, frustration and embarrassment. Without private health insurance the diagnostic procedure can be very expensive. Although a variety of tests are frequently requested, they usually return negative results.

X-rays and blood tests currently available do not provide positive diagnostic identification of cervical dystonia. However, these tests may identify other possible diagnoses, thus ruling out cervical dystonia. Best practice for accurate diagnosis includes appropriate professional clinical opinion based upon patient history. Additionally, assessment of neurological signs combined with visual assessment of the patient’s presenting symptoms provides an as accurate as possible diagnosis at this point in time. Remember, speaking to your general practitioner is the best place to start.

Well, now. You have aches and pains? So! What do you know? How about a whole new outlook on that age old saying, “what a pain in the neck!” Cervical dystonia is indeed, just that.

You can refer to the information provided in this blog in The Info Book from www.asta.asn.au or search for information in your own country of origin. Look for cervical dystonia or spasmodic torticollis. Thinking of leaving a comment? I would love to hear from you. Alternatively, my email is: s.j.bayliss@bigpond.com.au

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