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Torticollis (Wry Neck)

Torticollis (Wry Neck) is a painfully twisted and tilted neck. The top of the head generally tilts to one side while the chin tilts to the other side. The term comes from two Latin words: tortus, which means twisted, and collum, which means neck

Definition of Condition Title

Torticollis (Wry Neck) is a complaint where you develop neck pain and stiffness, which is often accompanied by a spasm of the surrounding neck muscles. This protective response causes neck pain and an inability to turn your neck through its full range of motion.

Types of Torticollis (Wry Neck) include:

  • Temporary Torticollis - this usually goes away after a few days. It can be due to swollen lymph nodes, an ear infection, a cold, or an injury to your head or neck
  • Fixed Torticollis - also known as Acute Torticollis or Permanent Torticollis. This is usually due to a musculoskeletal issue
  • Muscular Torticollis - a type of fixed torticollis that occurs due to scarred tissue or tight muscles in the neck
  • Klippel-Feil Syndrome - rare congenital form. Occurs when the bones in the infant's neck fuses incorrectly
  • Cervical Dystonia

Torticollis (Wry Neck)

Signs and Symptoms of Torticollis (Wry Neck)

Symptoms of Torticollis (Wry Neck) include:

  • Difficulty moving the head normally
  • Stiffness or pain in the neck 
  • Headaches
  • One shoulder may be higher than the other
  • Swelling of the neck muscles
  • Chin tilted to one side
  • In congenital torticollis, babies can have flattened/unbalanced faces. May also have hearing or vision difficulties 

Causes of Torticollis (Wry Neck)

Torticollis (Wry Neck) can have several causes. However, it is the thought that the pain and reduction in the range of motion result mainly from two mechanisms - either Facet Wry Neck, which is caused by a locked facet joint, or Discogenic Wry Neck, which is caused by a cervical disc injury. There can also be congenital causes; however, many Torticollis (Wry Neck) causes are unknown.

Statistics and Epidemiology related to Torticollis (Wry Neck)

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