Tonic, Clonic or Dystonic

The report from the physiotherapist who assessed me last week when I ended up in A&E arrived today. It detailed thoroughly what had happened and what had been done. The physio described my tics as Dystonic movements. I didn’t know what this meant so I’ve just looked it up online and this is what I learnt about the medical classification of motor tics and other involuntary movements:

Clonic tics are sudden jerks of a muscle or limb.

Tonic tics are tensing of muscles.

Dystonic tics are relatively slow and last a little while. They can include twisting, pulling, or squeezing movements and often result in briefly maintained abnormal postures.

While researching this I also learnt that Samuel Johnson, who wrote ‘A Dictionary of the English Language’, was posthumously diagnosed with Tourettes. I’m normally sceptical about posthumous diagnoses but it seems to be widely accepted that he probably did have it.

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