Sunday, January 7, 2007

What is happening? I am plumb tuckered out and aching all over!

(This article follows on from the previous article about cervical dystonia titled, Oh, oh, oh. It grabs me. Just like that! Cervical dystonia is a type of focal dystonia affecting muscles of the neck. Although there are different forms of cervical dystonia, it is all commonly referred to as spasmodic torticollis.)

Okay, with such a stiff neck and shoulders, something is definitely wrong. Initially, presenting to a medical practitioner with symptoms such as these, patients may find their doctor suggests nothing more than a ‘stiff neck’ or ‘wry neck'. Even arthritis may be suggested. Pain ranges from mild to severe, depending on each individual’s experience. Each person may be different with their symptoms of cervical dystonia which can vary considerably. Influences of anxiety and stress can increase the degree of spasms and pain. When neck muscles are overactive, a person’s posture may be greatly affected. In turn this affects other muscles not originally affected by dystonia, with stiffness and pain.

Some people may be affected by only a few symptoms and low level pain. Others may experience chronic pain and elevated levels of disability. It is not uncommon for suffers of cervical dystonia to experience less symptoms early in the day but increase to more severe symptoms as their day progresses. This can be very tiring.

People with cervical dystonia can become very distressed if they do not receive a clear diagnosis. Medical practitioners may be unable to confirm a diagnosis when a person’s signs and symptoms of cervical dystonia present intermittently. However, the next step is diagnosis. This will be the topic of the following article.

A really good Australian site for further information on cervical dystonia is http://www.asta.asn.au/ or search for a cervical dystonia or spasmodic torticollis site nearer to you. www.dystoniaaustralia.org.au is another good site.

Sue Bayliss.

3 comments:

Yvonne said...

Hi Sue,

I have been watching your posts with interest and your story rings a lot of familiar bells.

I was diagnosed with cervical dystonia FINALLY by a neurologist two years ago after a long history (since age 29 - I am now 58) of excruciating neck spasms and associated pain.
I did the rounds of GPs physios chiropractors etc. you know the story.
I had resigned myself to self management and coped the best way I could.
Then two years ago I noticed my head was starting to wobble and shake and was referred to a neurologist who straight away diagnosed cervical dystonia

A paternal aunt has the same condition.

I am currently about to resume botox treatment after a twelve month break - I wanted to assess how I would progress without it.

The spasms are gradually becoming more frequent and I am experiencing a lot of pain by the end of the day,so it seems the botox is beneficial for me although each treatment varies in effectiveness.

Good luck with your site thanks for the links and I will keep you informed of my progress.

Yvonne said...

Forgot to mention
I am a fellow Aussie from Adelaide

Sue Bayliss said...

Hello Yvonne, thank you so much for your very welcome contact. I read with great interest your experience. I do indeed 'know the story.'

I just not long ago entered a very short little blog and am still sitting here because I am, just at this moment, too contorted and aching too much to get up off the chair! Glad I checked for comments. Blessings flow then off I go - to bed! You have made my day.

I am interested to hear that you have a paternal aunt with dystonia, also. My heart goes out to you both! My maternal side also has a history of what I think has been dystonia. My mother and an aunt in particular. I suspect there have been others who have suffered greatly.

All the best with your up and coming treatment plan. Yea for BOTOX, 'ay! Those Hollywood gals and others in the Botox brigade have nothing compared to us!! - maybe though, we could get just a little bit into wrinkles? Never been offered and not game to ask!

I will be thinking of you. Take care. Sue.