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A woman with movement disorders walking her dog

Movement disorders

Reclaim your independence and find relief from your movement disorder symptoms.

What are movement disorders?

Movement disorders are neurological conditions that impact the way we move, often causing involuntary movements. 

Common types of movement disorders include:

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Essential tremor
  • Ataxia
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Normal pressure hydrocephalus
  • Tourette syndrome  
Symptoms of movement disorders include:
  • Shaking and/or tremors
  • Jerky, repetitive movements (myoclonus)
  • Difficulty walking or a shuffling gait
  • Issues with maintaining balance
  • Neck twists or painful muscle spasms in your neck (dystonia)

Our approach at Geisinger

Our neurologists and neurosurgeons specialize in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating all types of movement disorders. In our multidisciplinary approach to care, a specialty team of movement disorder specialists, neurophsychologists and neurophysiologists work together to design an individual path of treatment for each patient. Our treatments for movement disorders may include medication, therapy, and surgical options such as deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery.

Types of movement disorders

Learn more about the movement disorders and their symptoms that we specialize in treating:

Essential tremor

Essential tremor is a neurological disorder that causes involuntary and rhythmic shaking, which can affect your hands, head, voice, legs or trunk.

Huntington's disease

Huntington's disease causes degeneration of nerve cells in the brain. This rare, inherited disorder causes uncontrolled movement, emotional problems and cognitive issues.
Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease causes shaking and stiffness that impacts balance, walking and coordination. It usually comes on slowly and worsens over time.


Ataxia is characterized by a lack of muscle control or coordination of voluntary movements, like picking things up or walking.

 This movement disorder causes uncontrollable muscle contractions, triggering repetitive or twisting movements. 
Normal pressure hydrocephalus

This disorder is caused by the accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain’s ventricles, which are fluid-filled chambers. It can cause memory loss, issues with speech, leg weakness, unsteadiness, changes in mood or behavior and difficulty paying attention.

Characterized by jerky contractions of muscle groups, myoclonus isn’t a disease but a symptom of diseases such as Parkinson’s disease. Symptoms can include muscle twitches in your hand, arm, leg or face — sometimes in several muscle groups at the same time.
Tourette syndrome

This nervous system condition causes sudden and repeated twitches, movements or sounds, called “ticks,” that can’t be easily controlled.

Curious if deep brain stimulation could be right for you?

We host a monthly PA Health Talk with a Geisinger neurosurgeon specializing in deep brain stimulation (DBS). Come for lunch, bring your questions and discover how DBS can improve life for people with movement disorders.

Interested in an appointment? Request one by filling out the form below and someone will reach out soon.

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Movement disorder treatments

If you have symptoms that you think may be connected to a movement disorder, talk with your doctor. A physical examination can help them make a diagnosis — no bloodwork or imaging needed. 

At our multidisciplinary clinic, a specialty team works together to create personalized care plans to deliver the best possible outcomes for your condition. Treatments for movement disorders, from essential tremors to Parkinson’s disease, can include:


Our neurologists recommend medications and tailor the doses based on your individual needs. Each patient’s preferences are different, so our providers take care to personalize your treatment and minimize side effects. Your custom medication plan may combine both established and recently approved drugs.

Common drugs for movement disorders such as Parkinson’s include:

  • Blood pressure medication
  • Antiseizure medications
  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • Anticholinergic agents

Behavioral treatment therapy

If medications still leave you with symptoms, nonsurgical treatments are available.

LSVT BIG® and LVST LOUD® are forms of exercise-based behavioral treatment therapy that can help improve voice, swallowing and movement. Both use clinically proven techniques to improve motor function and slow the progression of movement disorder symptoms.

  • LSVT BIG® focuses on limb motor system therapies
  • LVST LOUD® focuses on speech motor system therapies

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery

If medications and therapies don’t manage movement disorder symptoms, there are surgical treatments to consider.

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery uses an implantable device like a pacemaker that delivers electrical stimulation to targeted parts of the brain that control movement. This can put an end to tremors and other movement disorder symptoms. DBS is used to treat many conditions including:

  • Dystonia
  • Epilepsy
  • Essential tremor
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Parkinson's disease

Neurosurgery at Geisinger

From brain tumor care to back pain treatment, our neurosurgeons are trained in the latest treatment methods and minimally invasive surgeries.

Schedule an appointment with a movement disorder specialist.
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