Print Overview Cervical dystonia, also called spasmodic torticollis, is a painful condition in which your neck muscles contract involuntarily, causing your head to twist or turn to one side. Cervical dystonia can also cause your head to uncontrollably tilt forward or backward. A rare disorder that can occur at any age, cervical dystonia most often occurs in middle-aged people, women more than men. Symptoms generally begin gradually and then reach a point where they don't get substantially worse. There is no cure for cervical dystonia. The disorder sometimes resolves without treatment, but sustained remissions are uncommon.
Cervical dystonia - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic
How quickly does it get better? What is torticollis? Torticollis - another name for having a 'twisted neck' or a 'wry neck' - often happens suddenly. You go to bed without any symptoms one night and then you simply wake up the following morning with a wry neck. This is known as acute torticollis. It is a very common cause of neck pain and stiffness. However, although it can be very painful when you are affected by it, most people with the condition do not actually need to see their doctor, as simple treatment such as painkillers can be really effective.
In cases of chronic neck muscle spasms and cervical dystonia, botulinum A toxin, also known as Botox, may provide relief by preventing the muscles from contracting. Botox may also prevent the condition from progressing. Surgery can help avoid further symptoms if other forms of treatment do not work. A surgeon may cut certain nerves and muscles to stop them contracting. Around 10 percent of children who have wryneck from birth will require surgery to lengthen the sternocleidomastoid muscle in the neck.
Treatment[ edit ] Initially, the condition is treated with physical therapies, such as stretching to release tightness, strengthening exercises to improve muscular balance, and handling to stimulate symmetry. A TOT collar is sometimes applied. Early initiation of treatment is very important for full recovery and to decrease chance of relapse. Five components have been recognized as the "first choice intervention" in PT for treatment of torticollis and include neck passive range of motion, neck and trunk active range of motion, development of symmetrical movement, environmental adaptations, and caregiver education.