The causes of cervical dystonia have not been fully proven yet, but researchers suggest that it is a neuro abnormality. It is believed that there is a dysfunction in the way the brain waves pass or how they process information. This can cause involuntary movements in the neck and shoulders.
There are three different ways cervical dystonia can be categorized, which include:
- Idiopathic: The cause of the condition is completely unknown.
- Genetic: Studies have found genetic mutations have influenced dystonia and it is often inherited.
- Acquired: The condition was brought about from something else. This can include a birth injury, medications, infections, etc.
Signs and symptoms of cervical dystonia are often seen to begin mildly. These signs and symptoms may then gradually intensify over a five-year period but then remain steady. The condition is also characterized as a focal dystonia, which is targeted towards one area of the body, in this case, the neck-and does not spread.
Considering this, cervical dystonia may likely be acquired. If you had problems birthing your child and they sustained birth injuries, such as brain bleeding or hypoxia, cervical dystonia may be a secondary injury. This is important to understand if you plan on taking legal action.
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Prognosis of Cervical Dystonia in a Child
In most cases, cervical dystonia is a lifelong ailment. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), about 10% of people diagnosed with cervical dystonia may experience remission but, for some, the signs and symptoms come back. Young children with mild symptoms are known to have the most favorable outcomes.
Be mindful that cervical dystonia can become a disability. The physical problems can restrict a person from controlling their head and neck normally. The shoulders can be physically impaired also. This may limit a child from developing on track and accomplishing basic tasks. These problems will persist into adulthood as well.
Likewise, mental, and emotional issues can arise from cervical dystonia too. Your child may develop social problems, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, as well as other similar complications.
It is important to keep watch of signs of cervical dystonia that your child is displaying. They may not know how to communicate their problem to you. While there is a slight chance it may go away on its own, it may not be the best approach.
When your child is young, their physical and mental development are vulnerable. On the other hand, conditions, like cervical dystonia, that may be damaging to their development, may be easier to repair. Therefore, you may want to explore ways to treat the onset of dystonia symptoms that may keep the condition at bay and help your child cope with their reality.
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Cervical Dystonia Treatment for a Child
There is no real treatment for cervical dystonia. There are only things you can do to help relieve the signs and symptoms of the condition. This can help patients manage their disorder to get through life and perform basic activities.
Types of treatment plans used for cervical dystonia may include, but are not limited to:
- Physical therapy
- Massage therapy
- Biofeedback therapy
- Oral medications
- Botulinum toxin injections
It is best to discuss these treatment options with your doctor before going ahead with them, especially since your child may overcome the condition in time. Additionally, it can take a while to realize how severe the condition is. Furthermore, your child may not be age-appropriate for certain treatments. For example, based on a study from Global Pediatric Health, botulinum toxin injections have been effective around 70% of the time but the effects it has on a child’s growth and maturity are still unknown.
Research has found that stress can intensify signs and symptoms of cervical dystonia; therefore, finding ways to reduce stress levels may also be of help. This may include counseling, medication, stress management classes, meditation, amongst other things. When it comes to your child it may be simple activities like coloring or reading that can reduce stress and, in turn, relieve their symptoms.
You may also want to be prepared with ways to help your child cope with their condition. It may be beneficial for you and your family to join a support group for help and emotional support.
What to Do if a Birth Injury Caused Cervical Dystonia in Your Child
If you believe a birth injury caused cervical dystonia in your child, you may have the right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Considering that this is often a lifelong disability, you may be facing an array of hefty costs and your child may have a below average quality of life.
Have an attorney review your case and discuss your next steps towards justice and restitution. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today to schedule your free consultation at (800) 222-9529.