Torticollis or also known as wry neck is a twisted neck in which the head is tipped to one side, while the chin is turned to the other.

torticollis

Causes

  1. Develops as a result of damage to the nervous system, upper spine, or muscles
  2. Idiopathic torticollis (condition occurs without a known cause )
  3. Congenital torticollis (present at birth) may occur if the baby’s head was in the wrong position while growing in the womb, or if the muscles or blood supply to the neck are injured.

Symptoms

  1. Limited range of motion of the head
  2. Headache
  3. Head tremor
  4. Neck pain
  5. Shoulder that is higher on one side of the body
  6. Stiffness of the neck muscles
  7. Swelling of the neck muscles (possibly present at birth)

Tests

  • CT scan of the neck
  • Electromyogram (EMG) to see which muscles are most affected
  • MRI of the brain

 

Treatment

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Physiotherapist:

  •   Passive stretching and positioning are used in infants and small children. These treatments are often successful, especially if they are started within 3 months of birth.
  •   Applying heat, traction to the cervical spine, and massage may help relieve head and neck pain.
  •   Neck braces may help with muscle spasms.

Doctor management:

  •  Surgery to correct the neck muscle may be done in the preschool years, if other treatment methods fail.
  •   Medications may be used, including the anticholinergic drug baclofen
  •   Injecting botulinum toxin can temporarily relieve torticollis, but repeat injections are usually needed every 3 months.

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Prevention!

While there is no known way to prevent this condition, early treatment may prevent it from getting worse.

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