Movement Disorders

What are movement disorders?

Movement disorders interfere with your ability to control your body’s movements: how smoothly and quickly you move, and even whether one of your body parts moves.

There are many movement disorders:

  • Chorea: repetitive, brief, irregular, involuntary movements that start in one part of your body and move abruptly, to another part
  • Athetosis: a continuous stream of slow, flowing, writhing involuntary movements.
  • Hemiballismus: a type of chorea, usually involving violent, involuntary flinging of one arm and/or one leg
  • Coordination disorders: illnesses in which damage to the cerebellum diminishes your control over your arms and legs
  • Dystonia: long-lasting, involuntary muscle contractions that force people into abnormal positions
  • Huntington disease: a hereditary disease that starts with occasional involuntary spasms and progresses to chorea or athetosis, mental deterioration and death
  • Myoclonus: an illness characterized by lightning-like spasms of a muscle or a group of muscles
  • Parkinson disease: a degenerative illness of the brain and spinal cord whose symptoms include involuntary resting tremors, stiff muscles, delays in voluntary movements and poor balance
  • Progressive supranuclear palsy an illness in which your muscles grow rigid, you lose control over your eye movements, your throat muscles grow weak and you tend to fall backward

Causes of movement disorders

Many movement disorders result from nerve diseases, such as Parkinson's disease.

Other causes include:

  • Injuries that damage areas of the brain
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Infections
  • Certain medicines
  • Genetics

Symptoms of movement disorders

The primary symptom of most movement disorders is the inability to control


Treatment options vary, depending on your illness. Some can be cured with medicine, and others can be addressed by treating underlying diseases. In many cases, there are no cures, but treatment can improve symptoms and ease your pain.

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Treatments for Movement Disorders

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Symptoms and Screenings for Movement Disorders

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Causes and Preventions for Movement Disorders

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Education and Resources for Movement Disorders

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Support groups for Movement Disorders

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Learn More about Movement Disorders

Vidant Health can connect you to health care professionals to help you understand your condition and guide you through the treatment process. Let’s chat.

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