Are some of your movements a bit jerky? Are you moving without a desire? Or when you want to move, you can’t? You might be experiencing some type of movement disorder.
Movement disorders are caused by changes to specific areas of your brain and nervous system that control movement. Cause for movement control change is for the most part unknown.
Movement control is initiated via chemical messengers that detonate a chain reaction which culminates in muscle movement. With a movement disorder, this chain of events is somehow disrupted. Thus, producing movement interference or the inability to stop movement.
Movement disorders are typically caused by:
- nerve diseases
- genetic inheritance
- certain medications
- autoimmune diseases
- trauma, injury to brain, spinal cord
Some examples of movement control disorders are:
- Wilson’s disease
- Tourette syndrome
- Parkinson’s disease
- Huntington’s disease
- restless legs syndrome
- multiple system atrophy
There are two basic types of movement disorders:
- hypokinetic ~ too little, slow, stiff, rigid movement
- hyperkinetic ~ too much, excessive, unwanted movement
Different types of movement disorders develop because of their nature and location of damage or malfunction.
Some symptoms you may experience from a movement disorder involve:
- stiff, rigid
- frozen affect
- lack of precision
- muscle cramping
- sleep disturbance
- excessive blinking
- unnatural stillness
- crawling sensations
- slow, fast movement
- voice articulation issue
- eyelid control problems
- reduced sense of smell
- monotone, breathy sound
- irregular, prolonged movement
- can’t relax into natural position
Dyskinesia, term for broken or jerky movement, is a common symptom of many movement disorders.
Periodic limb movement disorder is a repetitive, rhythmic leg jerking that occurs only during sleep. It is also classified a sleep disorder because your out of your control movements disrupt sleep.
Periodic limb movement disorder can have an unknown cause or caused by some other condition, such as:
Some of these can cause restless leg syndrome as well.
Most movement disorders are chronic movement control conditions, and many have no cure. Drug treatment tends to focus on relief of your symptoms and may include:
- COMT inhibitors
- MAO-B inhibitors
- dopaminergic agents
These other forms of treatment may assist in healthy movement control too:
- neurosurgery ~ surgery on the nervous system
- orthopedic surgery ~ reduce, correct joint, bone deformities
- physical therapy ~ exercises to maintain the range of motion
- occupational therapist ~ adapts the physical environment to meet daily movement control needs
Depending on your movement control situation, you may also be treated by a speech pathologists and psychologists.
Treatment varies by your diagnosed movement control disorder.