Guide to Good Practice


Getting an accurate diagnosis of dystonia can take many years because of a lack of awareness among the public and medical professionals. People affected by dystonia are often referred to, and receive inappropriate management from a variety of specialists. Physiotherapists and psychiatrists should consider the possibility of a diagnosis of dystonia in unusually persistent disorders of posture and movement. Patients thought to have dystonia should be referred to the following professionals for diagnosis and management:


Type of Dystonia: Diagnosis and treatment by:
All types of dystonia   Consultant neurologist specialising in movement disorders
Laryngeal dystonia Laryngologist or ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeon
Blepharospasm Neurologist specialising in movement disorders or an ophthalmologist  

Any dystonia affecting children

Paediatric neurologist or neuro-developmental paediatrician.

Some cases may be referred to a paediatric movement disorder neurologist.


To ensure a holistic approach to care, consultant neurologists need to work in collaborative networks with specialist nurses, therapists and other physicians and surgeons, with the neurologist providing clinical leadership in these teams.

 Last reviewed June 2014

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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