The Motion Analysis Laboratory is one of the tools physiatrists use to help patients achieve efficient and effective gait patterns, as well as functional upper extremity movement. Dystonia is a movement disorder characterized by involuntary muscle contractions resulting in twisting movements and abnormal postures. The movement disorder can cause significant impairments during functional tasks including gait, mobility, and reaching. Several clinical measurement scales have been developed to identify dystonia and rate its severity. These can be easily adapted for use in the Motion Analysis Laboratory. Additionally, the use of motion analysis kinetics, kinematics, and surface EMG has increased in use for monitoring dystonia. This session will discuss common etiologies of dystonia, clinical skills use for diagnosis and efficacy of treatments, and the role of instrumented gait analysis, kinetics, and kinematics in the evaluation of dystonia.

Learning Objectives

  • Discuss the impact that dystonia has on volitional activity in both the upper and lower extremitie.
  • Review the basics of an orthopedic evaluation and the decision-making process that maximizes outcomes for ambulation and upper extremity function.
  • Evaluate findings on a Motion Analysis Laboratory study that would indicate the presence of dystonia.