Health Illustrated Encyclopedia

Movement - uncontrolled or slow

Definition

Uncontrolled or slow movement is defined as a problem with muscle tone, usually in large muscle groups, that leads to slow involuntary contractions of the head, limbs, trunk, or neck.

See also:

Alternative Names

Dystonia; Involuntary slow and twisting movements; Choreoathetosis; Leg and arm movements - uncontrollable; Arm and leg movements - uncontrollable; Slow involuntary movements of large muscle groups; Athetoid movements

Considerations

The slow sinuous twisting movements of muscles (athetosis) or sustained muscle contraction (dystonia) may be caused by a number of conditions, including cerebral palsy, encephalitis, drug side effects, hepatic encephalopathy, and Huntington's chorea.

The abnormal movement may be reduced or disappear during sleep, but it is worsened by emotional stress. Abnormal and sometimes grotesque postures may be a manifestation of these movements.

Causes

  • Encephalitis
  • Hepatic encephalopathy
  • Medication side effects
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Genetic diseases

Home Care

Get adequate sleep and avoid excessive stress. In severe cases, take safety measures to avoid injury. Follow prescribed therapy for treatment of the underlying cause.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

  • There is unexplained dystonia.
  • The problem is getting worse.
  • Uncontrolled movements are accompanied by other symptoms.

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

The doctor will perform a physical exam. The physical examination may include a detailed examination of the nervous and muscular systems.

The doctor will ask questions about your medical history and symptoms, including:

  • When did you develop this problem?
  • How long have you had it?
  • Is it always the same?
  • Is it always present or only occasionally?
  • Is it getting worse?
  • Is it worse after exercise?
  • Is it worse during times of emotional stress?
  • Has you been injured or in an accident recently?
  • Has you been sick recently?
  • Is it better after you sleep?
  • Does anyone else in your family have a similar problem?
  • What other symptoms do you have?
  • What medications are you taking?

Provided by adam.com

Review Date: 6/11/2007
Reviewed By: Daniel Kantor, M.D., Director of the Comprehensive MS Center, Neuroscience Institute, University of Florida Health Science Center, Jacksonville, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
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