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Spasmodic Torticollis

more about Spasmodic Torticollis

  • Spasmodic torticollis is a type of focal dystonia characterized by abnormal posture and movements of the head and neck.  It is caused by involuntary contractions of the neck muscles.

  • Pain in the base of the neck
  • Pain, tingling sensations or tremors in the arm or hand
  • Abnormal movements and spasms due to involuntary contractions of the neck muscles (Torticollis means 'twisted neck').
  • Abnormal posture of the head such as leaning to one side, or being pulled forward or backward
  • Torticollis usually disappears while sleeping
  • Touching the opposite side of the face with your hand may reduce pain and control the spasms.

  • Spasmodic torticollis is one of the most common forms of dystonia.  The cause is unclear, but it is believed that dystonia results from the dysfunction of certain areas in the brain called basal ganglia.  Basal ganglia are a part of brain that regulates voluntary and involuntary movements.

  • There is no curable treatment for spasmodic torticollis.
  • Most treatments are symptomatic
  • Medication -- the initial treatment for spasmodic torticollis, begins with oral medication, but the effects do not appear uniformly.
  • Physical therapy is helpful in increasing the range of motion and in improving posture.
  • Botulinum toxin injection -- this has proven to be effective in relieving pain and spasms for several months.  The botulinum toxin is directly injected into the affected neck muscles.
  • Surgery -- if all of conservative treatments fail to control the symptoms, surgical cutting of the nerves may be considered.

more about Spasmodic Torticollis

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