Objective. Definitions and descriptions of focal dystonias and conversion symptoms place these disorders on the borderline between psychiatry and neurology. Various possible interpretations and therapeutic suggestions as exemplified by the musicians ' cramp are proposed.
Case. A case of a man aged over 40 is reported - after a number of diagnostic and therapeutic attempts (from surgical interventions to psychotherapy) that have proved unsuccessful.
Commentary. Conversion and muscle dystonias may serve as a good illustration of the dilemmas associated with choosing the paradigm of thinking in psychiatry. The authors are for a multidimensional approach.