Torticollis is medically known as cervical dystonia or spasmodic torticollis. This is simply defined as movement disorder wherein the muscles that control the neck causes sustained twist or frequent jerk. There is a deformity of the neck due to shortening of the neck muscles. The hallmark of this condition is positioning of the head that tilts to the affected side making the chin towards opposite side.
Torticollis is commonly seen in the people who age from 30-60 and females are affected twice as compared to the males. According to the National Spasmodic Torticollis Association, torticollis catches approximately 82000 people in the US alone.
Signs and Symptoms of torticollis include:
• An abnormal forward tilting of the head medically known as anterocollis.
• Inflammation of the neck muscles
• Neck pain.
• An abnormal sideways tilting of the head medically known as laterocollis.
• An abnormal backward tilting of the head medically known as retrocollis
• Stiffness of neck muscles.
• Restricted movements of the neck
• Variability in the shape of sufferer’s head.
• Raised shoulder on the affected side.
The onset and presentation of the condition is interesting as 2.3rd of the sufferers are free from the symptoms within three weeks and 95 per cent within 6 months! The radiograph shows regressing or disappearing of the calcified deposits in 90 per cent of the cases. In case there is no compression of the spinal cord, the conservative treatment is advised. Many experts prefer sedatives, painkillers and cervical traction those are specially tailored according to the symptoms. Using a soft cervical collar and avoiding body contact sports remain as prime treatment and advice.