About NSTA - National Spasmodic Torticollis Association

Treatment Options

ST movements often disappear in sleep and may not reappear for a short time, any where between 10 minutes and 4 hours after waking.

Because of this, many people find relief by taking breaks during the day to lie on their backs. Touching the opposite side of the face or chin may also cause spasms to cease temporarily.

Spontaneous recovery can be found in up to 20 percent of people within five years of the onset of symptoms, however this is more common in those whose symptoms begin before age 40 and/or who have a relatively mild case of ST.

There is no uniform treatment for ST, but oral medications are usually the first line of defense. Should these fail, the approved treatment of choice is Chemodenervation which involves injections using BOTOX®, (a botulinum toxin Type A manufactured by Allergan Inc.), DYSPORTt® (a botulinum toxin Type A manufactured by Ipsen), MYOBLOC® (a botulinum toxin Type B manufactured by Solstice Neurosciences) or XEOMIN®, (a botulinum toxin Type A manufactured by Merz Pharmaceuticals) into contracting muscles. Over the years, this has proven to be a safe and effective method of relieving pain and lessening spasms.

Surgery is not recommended as an initial defense but can be helpful for people who are unresponsive to other treatments. The approved procedure, known as Selective Denervation, is difficult to perform and sometimes does not provide relief. It should only be performed by a neurosurgeon with special expertise in this area. Surgically severing the muscles does not work.

Often treatment of ST is through a multidisciplinary approach combining medications, botulinum toxin injections, physical and occupational therapy, biofeedback and electrical stimulation.