Torticollis (Wry Neck)

Torticollis is characterized by an asymmetrical, abnormal position of the head or neck, either fixed or dynamic. The condition can be further categorized according to the specific direction or type of the tilt, rotation, or flexion. Laterocollis occurs when the head leans toward the shoulder; rotational torticollis occurs when the head rotates along the longitudinal axis; anterocollis occurs when the head and neck demonstrate forward flexion; and retrocollis occurs when the head and neck hyperextend backward. Those suffering from torticollis may exhibit a combination of these positions. Additionally, torticollis can be categorized based on cause. Congenital muscular torticollis may result from damage to the sternocleidomastoid muscle in the neck due to trauma during the birthing process or intrauterine malposition. Such cases may result in a tumor in the affected muscle, which, though it typically disappears by the age of eight months, leaves lasting muscle damage. Acquired torticollis, on the other hand, may result from issues and conditions such as disease or scarring within the cervical vertebrae, adenitis, cerebellar tumors, adenitis, retropharyngeal abscess, tonsillitis, enlarged cervical glands, or rheumatism. While there are additional possible causes of torticollis, most of them are very rare. Treatment of torticollis usually involves stability exercises, stretching, manual therapy (including manipulations and massage), and heat therapy.