Foot dystonia is uncontrollable and often painful muscle contractions in the foot which causes a twisting or turning in of the foot. Foot dystonia is believed to be caused by incorrect messages from the brain to the muscles in the foot or lower leg.
If the foot dystonia appears in older adults (after the age of 30) it is likely to be a focal dystonia. Focal dystonias are limited to specific parts of the body. Symptoms generally appear between the ages of 30 and 50 although sometimes symptoms can appear earlier or later. Generally, if focal dystonias start in adulthood, they affect only one part of the body. If they spread at all, which is unlikely, it is usually only to one other area. Treatment usually involves regular injections.
Focal foot dystonia is a neurological movement disorder and should be referred to a neurologist specialising in movement disorders.
Unfortunately there is not yet a cure. However, in the vast majority of cases, dystonia does not impact intelligence or shorten a person's life span. Most people do manage to develop successful strategies for living with dystonia combining treatment with pain control.
Please call our helpline on 0845 458 6322 for more information.
To read case studies of individuals with foot dystonia that have been featured in Dystoniamatters! click on the links below:
Last reviewed October 2011
The Dystonia Society provides the information on this page as general information only. It is not intended to provide instruction and you should not rely on this information to determine diagnosis, prognosis or a course of treatment. It should not be used in place of a professional consultation with a doctor.
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