Reduced motor function and impaired control of their body – what it is like living with athetosis. In this article, we tell you more about how the body can be affected by involontary movement patterns.
Athetosis means that the pattern of movement in one or a few body parts differs from normality. Usually, the condition is characterized as involuntary, slow and twisting or rolling movements. Generally, these atypical movements usually affects the arms, hands, legs and feet, but in some cases also the neck, face, tongue and core may be affected as well.
The condition is due to the brain being affected by a disorder or disease and is often the result of complications during birth. It can also occur as a symptom of some neurological disorders, for example, after a stroke or a CP injury. The condition can also occur during hemiplegia and is then called korea. In other words, Athetosis is rarely a stand-alone disease. The doctor will therefore work to diagnose the underlying cause and treat the condition accordingly.
Athetosis can express itself in different ways and it is difficult to know in advance how the condition will affect everyday life. As we mentioned earlier, a impaired motor function can lead to muscles becoming difficult to control. If the person tries to control the random and involontary movements, the atetosis can be worsen during a short time.
As a result of the reduced muscle control, it can be difficult for the person to maintain a symmetrical and stable posture. If the movevement disorders are very difficult, the athetosis can thus affect the everyday life. Among other things, due to impaired balance, difficulty control walking or arm-hand movements. The person can also find it difficult to talk or eat himself.
The involontary movements may mean that the person cannot control how the fingers are moving over the keyboard, that the arms are unable to reach the head to comb the hair, or that it becomes easy for the person to fall over due to poor balance or leg control.
Since athetosis is a chronic condition, there is currently no cure, but there is much that shows that the condition can be improved. Many people learn to find strategies that keep the athetosis in check, and with the help of training it is possible to practice different movement patterns, which makes it possible for the person to control movements better.
The human has a great ability to adapt to different situations. With the right help, it is possible to alleviate symptoms and, among other things, improve function, mobility and strength.
Our unique assistive device Mollii relieves a variety of symptoms that orginates from various neurological injuries and diseases such as cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, acquired brain injury, stroke and MS.
Mollii is a suit consisting of a pair of trousers, a jacket and a detachable control unit which is used one hour every other day. The positive effects of stimulating the muscles with low frequency electric current is that you increase the ability to control your body and also contribute to higher quality of life.