Movement Disorders

South Valley Neurology

Neurologists & Pediatric Neurologists located in Morgan Hill, CA & San Jose, CA

Movement disorders are a group of common neurological abnormalities that affect more than 42 million Americans. These conditions affect everyone differently but are often characterized by muscle weakness, tremors, and loss of balance. At South Valley Neurology, the team specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of movement disorders. Call the office in San Jose, California, for pediatric care or the office in Morgan Hill, California, for teenagers and adults, or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment today.

Movement Disorders Q & A

What are movement disorders?

The term “movement disorders” refers to several different conditions that negatively affect your nervous system and muscle control. 

Movement disorders can increase or decrease your ability to make voluntary or involuntary movements. When left untreated, they can result in mobility issues or disabilities.

What are some common movement disorders?

There are dozens of movement disorders. Some of the most common include:

Ataxia

Ataxia is a movement disorder that affects the cerebellum, a part of your brain responsible for coordinated movement. Telltale signs of ataxia include poor balance and clumsiness, slurred speech, and involuntary limb movements.

Cervical dystonia

Cervical dystonia is a movement disorder that causes intermittent spasms of the muscles in your neck. This can result in abnormal head posture, jerking motions, and persistent shoulder pain.

Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive movement disorder that causes tremors, muscle stiffness, and imbalance. It occurs due to a loss of cells in your brain called the substantia nigra, which are responsible for producing dopamine. 

Tourette syndrome

Tourette syndrome is a movement disorder that typically affects teenagers and young adults. It’s characterized by repetitive, jerky motions and random vocalizations known as vocal tics. 

How are movement disorders diagnosed?

The team at South Valley Neurology diagnoses movement disorders by conducting a physical exam, reviewing your medical history, and asking about your lifestyle and symptoms. If you have parents or grandparents with a particular movement disorder, let the team know, as certain types are hereditary and run in families.

Following your exam, the team orders laboratory tests, electromyography, and a nerve conduction study. These measures help pinpoint the underlying cause of your symptoms and assist in guiding treatment. 

How are movement disorders treated?

Treatment of movement disorders depends on your official diagnosis and the intensity of your symptoms. Whenever possible, the team at South Valley Neurology recommends conservative measures of care like eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and getting plenty of sleep.

Depending on your unique needs, they might also recommend:

  • Prescription medications
  • Physical or occupational therapy
  • At-home exercises
  • Botox injections to minimize muscle contractions
  • Counseling or behavioral therapy

If your symptoms persist or continue to get worse, surgical intervention may be necessary. 

Though there’s no cure for movement disorders, these treatments can minimize uncomfortable symptoms and help you work, exercise, and participate in other activities you enjoy.

To access all-inclusive treatment for movement disorders, schedule an appointment at South Valley Neurology. Book a consultation online, or call the office to speak with a caring staff member today.