Nonsurgical Therapies for Movement Disorders

Movement disorders cause unwanted muscle movements that can make everyday life difficult. With the right treatment, you can get relief from symptoms and have a good quality of life.

At Henry Ford Health, our skilled neurologists (specialists in conditions affecting the nervous system) have extensive expertise in all treatments for movement disorders. Through clinical trials, we offer the latest therapies — which are not widely available — to control symptoms including muscle contractions, tremors, nerve pain and more.

What are nonsurgical therapies for movement disorders?

Our team has years of experience using medications, Botox® injections, rehabilitation therapies and other nonsurgical options to treat movement disorders. We work closely with you to create an individualized care plan by combining multiple treatments.

We understand how multiple health conditions — and their treatments — interact. We review other medications and conditions you may have so that we can fine-tune your medication regimen. Through a personalized approach, we help minimize side effects while providing the most effective treatment.

Medications for movement disorders

A wide range of medications can treat muscle contractions, cramps, tremors, nerve pain, psychological symptoms and other symptoms that occur with movement disorders. You may need more than one medication depending on the disorder and symptoms that you’re experiencing.

Medications to improve muscle symptoms

  • Muscle relaxants
  • Drugs that target specific neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) that affect muscle movement
  • Beta blockers such as propranolol to reduce tremors (shaking)
  • Anti-seizure medications to minimize tremors, especially in the hands
  • Medications, including levodopa and others, that replenish or enhance dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is low in people with Parkinson’s disease
  • Anti-anxiety medications for people whose tremors increase with anxiety

Medications for other symptoms

  • Antidepressants to help manage psychological symptoms such as depression and anxiety
  • Anti-psychotic medications to suppress unwanted muscle movements and tics
  • Medications for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to improve focus and attention in some people with Tourette syndrome 
  • Pain medications for nerve pain and pain caused by muscle contractions and abnormal postures
  • Medications to treat underlying causes of tremors, such as high blood pressure or thyroid disease

Botox for neuromuscular disorders

We offer botulinum toxin, or Botox, injections to help relax muscles where spasms or tremors occur. Botox provides temporary relief (about three months) to reduce unwanted muscle movements and improve abnormal positions. Learn more about Botox for neuromuscular disorders.

Neurological rehabilitation for movement disorders

We have specialized rehabilitation therapists who work with people who have movement disorders. Depending on your specific needs, you may see one or more neurological rehabilitation therapists for physical, occupational and speech-language therapy.

Specialized Parkinson’s disease rehab

We also offer specialized rehabilitation using Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) therapies designed specifically for people who have Parkinson’s disease. The LSVT Big™ program is physical and occupational therapy, and the LSVT Loud™ program is speech-language therapy. Learn more about our LSVT Parkinson’s disease rehabilitation programs.

Behavioral therapy for movement disorders

You may benefit from talk therapy, also called psychotherapy or counseling, with a psychologist, psychiatrist or licensed clinical social worker. Our counseling services can help with behavioral symptoms such as anxiety and depression and help you build coping strategies.

Some specialized therapies we offer include:

  • Counseling with a geriatric psychiatrist
  • Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT) for people with Tourette syndrome

Assistive devices for movement disorders

Assistive devices help you stay mobile when coping with symptoms such as muscle spasms, tremors and stiffness. We can recommend the right devices, such as walkers, wheelchairs and canes, to meet your needs.

Our therapists can also help you with braces and splints for support during walking, writing, instrument playing or other activities. Weighted devices, such as cups, utensils or pens, help minimize tremors when you are eating, drinking or writing.

Integrative medicine for movement disorders

Integrative medicine combines proven alternative therapies with traditional Western medical care in a holistic approach to health and wellness. At Henry Ford, the Center for Integrative Medicine offers complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies that can help people with movement disorders. Among the therapies we offer are:

Movement disorders we treat using nonsurgical therapies

Learn more about the conditions we treat and our approach to care:

Research to advance care for movement disorders

For years, our neurology specialists have pioneered groundbreaking research that has become standard treatment for movement disorders. At Henry Ford, you have access (if eligible) to clinical trials offering the latest nonsurgical treatments that aren’t widely available. Learn more about our movement disorders research and innovation.

Make an appointment

Let us help you schedule an appointment, call (800) 436-7936.


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