Spasmodic Torticollis

What is Spasmodic Torticollis?

Spasmodic torticollis (cervical dystonia) is a disorder where the muscles of the neck contract nonstop, making the head turn into various postures. It can be caused by a neurologic disease or as the result of an accident. The spasms tend to worsen when a person stands or walks, making simple tasks hard. Torticollis (wry neck or Loxia) is one of a broader category of disorders that exhibit flexion, extension, or twisting of muscles of the neck beyond their normal situation. The Latin definition of torticollis means twisted neck. In torticollis, the neck tends to twist to one side, causing the head tilt. The situation can either develop slowly if you have a family history of the disorder, or acutely from trauma, or as an adverse reaction to medications.

Who gets Spasmodic Torticollis?

Anyone can get spasmodic torticollis, but it generally happens to people between the ages of 25 and 55 years. The exact reason is unknown, but there may be a genetic link.

How is Spasmodic Torticollis diagnosed?

After taking the patient’s history, a physician may execute a physical and neurological examination, including electrodiagnostic tests.

How is Spasmodic Torticollis treated?

Sometimes spasmodic torticollis goes away for no particular cause without treatment. However, this is uncommon. Common treatments contain medication or injections of botulinum toxin. Physical therapy can also be helpful for symptoms.