What is Torticollis?

Torticollis, also known as wryneck, is a condition characterized by an abnormal twisting or tilting of the neck. It can occur due to various causes and can affect people of all ages, including infants, children, and adults.  It is a condition in which the neck muscles of an individual are tightened, causing the head to tilt to one side.  There are several types of torticollis, including congenital muscular torticollis, spasmodic torticollis, and acquired torticollis.

  • Congenital muscular torticollis is the most common form of torticollis in infants and is caused by the tightening of the sternocleidomastoid muscle in the neck. It can be treated with physical therapy and stretching exercises. It typically occurs in infants due to abnormal positioning in the womb or injury during birth.
  • Spasmodic torticollis (Cervical Dystonia) is a rare form of torticollis that usually occurs in adulthood. It is caused by involuntary muscle contractions in the neck, causing the head to twist or turn involuntarily. and can be treated with medication, injections, and physical therapy.
  • Acquired torticollis can be caused by a variety of factors, including trauma, infection,etc. This can develop later in life due to muscle spasms, injury, inflammation, or other underlying conditions.
The primary symptom of torticollis is the abnormal positioning of the head and neck. Other associated symptoms may include neck pain, stiffness, muscle spasms, shoulder elevation, headaches, and limited range of motion.

Causes of Torticollis

The exact cause of torticollis is often unknown. However, certain factors and conditions may contribute to its development, including:

    • Congenital abnormalities or muscle imbalances in the neck
    • Birth trauma or injury
    • Infection or inflammation of the neck muscles
    • Neck muscle spasms or dystonia
    • Injury to the neck or upper back
    • Neurological disorders or damage to the nervous system

A healthcare professional, such as a doctor or physical therapist, can diagnose torticollis based on a physical examination and medical history. In some cases, imaging tests like X-rays or MRI scans may be ordered to evaluate the underlying structures of the neck.

Treatment of Torticollis

The treatment of torticollis depends on its underlying cause and severity. The treatment of torticollis depends on the underlying cause and the severity of the condition. Here are some common treatment options:

  1. Physical Therapy: Physical therapy is often the first line of treatment for torticollis. A physical therapist can teach you exercises and stretches to improve the range of motion and strengthen the neck muscles. They may also provide techniques to correct postural imbalances and improve muscle coordination.
  2. Medications: In some cases, medications may be prescribed to manage the symptoms of torticollis. Muscle relaxants such as baclofen or benzodiazepines can help reduce muscle spasms and relieve pain. Botulinum toxin injections (Botox) may be administered into the affected muscles to temporarily paralyze them, providing relief from involuntary movements. These injections need to be repeated every few months.
  3. Heat or Cold Therapy: Applying heat or cold packs to the affected area can help reduce pain, inflammation, and muscle spasms. You can use a heating pad, warm towel, or an ice pack wrapped in a cloth. Be sure to follow proper safety guidelines and avoid applying extreme temperatures directly to the skin.
  4. Assistive Devices: Sometimes, supportive devices can help alleviate symptoms and improve posture. For example, a cervical collar or neck brace may be used to support the neck and relieve muscle strain. Your healthcare provider can recommend the appropriate device for your specific situation.
  5. Surgical Intervention: In severe cases of torticollis that do not respond to other treatments, surgery may be considered. Surgical options include procedures to lengthen or release tight neck muscles, remove abnormal structures, or correct skeletal abnormalities. The decision for surgery is typically made after careful evaluation by a healthcare professional and a discussion of the potential risks and benefits.

It’s important to remember that the treatment approach for torticollis should be tailored to the individual’s needs and circumstances. Consulting with a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or physical therapist, is crucial to determine the most suitable treatment plan for managing torticollis effectively.

Contact Pacific Attorney Group For Any Birth-Related Injury Claim

If you believe that your child’s torticollis is a result of a birth injury and you are considering legal action, consulting with a birth injury lawyer may be a reasonable step. Birth injury cases can be complex, and it’s important to seek legal advice from a professional who specializes in this area.

If the birth injury lawyer determines that you have a valid case, they will guide you through the legal process, which may involve filing a lawsuit, gathering additional evidence, negotiating with the opposing party, and potentially going to trial. If successful, you may be eligible for compensation to cover medical expenses, ongoing treatment costs, pain and suffering, and other damages related to the birth injury.

Call us today and find out if you have a valid claim. Pacific Attorney Group is available 24*7.