Types of Dystonia

Types of Dystonia

– affecting muscles around the eyes, in the neck, in the throat or in one of the limbs.
– affecting an area of the body such as the neck and an arm.
– affecting the arm and leg on one side of the body.
– affecting many different parts of the body.
– affects most parts of the body, especially the legs and trunk.

Common forms of Focal Dystonia

Cervical Dystonia (Spasmodic Torticollis)

Affects the neck muscles and causes the head to twist to one side (torticollis), forwards (anterocollis), backwards (retrocollis) or over one shoulder (laterocollis). Cervical dystonia is the most common form of dystonia. It is often accompanied by a tremor or shaking of the head.


Affecting the muscles around the eyes, leading to excessive blinking or involuntary eye closure. Although eyes and vision may be normal, muscle spasms may cause functional blindness.

Oromandibular Dystonia

Affects the muscles of the lower face, jaw, tongue and mouth

Meige’s Syndrome

Acombination of Blepharospasm and Oromandibular Dystonia

Hemifacial Spasm

Can affect one eyelid and/or one side of the face. Technically this is not dystonia but it has many dystonic features. It can also be classed as “Unilateral Blepharospasm” or “Segmental Myoclonus”

Laryngeal Dystonia (Spasmodic Dysphonia)

Affects the muscles of the larynx and vocal cords. The Adductor type causes the voice to sound strained and choked. The less‐common Abductor type produces a breathy, whispering sound.

Writer’s Cramp

affects the muscles of the hand and forearm when writing. There are other focal dystonia which are triggered only by a particular activity or occupation. Examples include typist’s cramp, golfer’s cramp, musician’s cramp (pianists, string, woodwind or brass players).