Cervical dystonia

Cervical dystonia is the most common type of focal dystonia.


Cervical dystonia is the most common type of focal dystonia. This form of dystonia occurs mainly in adults, most often between the ages of 30 and 50. Women seem to be affected more frequently than men.

The figures for cervical dystonia

It is estimated that about 57 out of 1 million people in Europe suffer from cervical dystonia. In the UK, the number of cases of cervical dystonia is estimated at 18,000.


Involuntary muscle contractions occur in the neck and shoulder muscles. Spasms can be tonic, jerky or both at the same time, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe.

Evolution of the disease

In general, symptoms tend to worsen within 5 years of the onset of the disease. For 10 to 20% of people, the symptoms disappear. For others, symptoms tend to stabilize. There is a risk of spreading dystonia to neighbouring areas of the body.

Sources: Amadys, Dystonia Canada 

Last updated: 1/14/19

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