Torticollis: Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors, and Treatment

Torticollis may be a neck condition that you have never heard of before, but once you learn about the symptoms, you may realize that it is more common than you think. What are the symptoms of torticollis? What causes this condition? Are there any risk factors to be concerned about? How can chiropractic and other natural remedies help? Let’s learn about torticollis.

Torticollis Symptoms

Torticollis is also called wryneck because it is a neck condition that leads to the head being both rotated and tilted at a strange angle. What are the symptoms associated with this condition?

  • Pain in the muscles attached to the neck and running along the spine
  • Reduce range of motion in the neck = the head is often stuck twisted to one side
  • Muscle spasms in the neck
  • The chin is shifted into an odd position

Of course, some of these symptoms may indicate a different condition and require a diagnosis from a healthcare professional.

The Causes of Torticollis

There are two types of torticollis. Congenital torticollis occurs at birth. While the actual cause is unknown, researchers believe that it has to do with the position of the fetus within the uterus. This negatively impacts the formation of the muscles in the neck and leads to injury.

Acquired torticollis is the other type. This refers to any case of torticollis that is not associated with birth. Again, researchers are not 100% certain of the cause, but they have a number of ideas. These possible causes include traumatic injuries, sleep position, a herniated disk, or an infection (bacterial or viral in nature).

Risk Factors for Torticollis

When it comes to congenital torticollis, the number one risk factor is being a firstborn child. For some unknown reason, congenital torticollis is less common for children who are born second or later. For acquired torticollis, risk factors include traumatic injuries to the neck and certain illnesses.

Treatment of Torticollis

The treatment of torticollis depends on the patient’s age. Newborns are going to experience very different care from someone who experiences acquired torticollis. For acquired torticollis patient care typically includes things like:

  • Use of a neck collar (especially after an injury)
  • Heat
  • Ultrasound
  • Physical therapy
  • Chiropractic care

If you are experiencing the symptoms of torticollis and want the help of a chiropractor in the Fairfax, Virginia area, Ward Chiropractic & Rehabilitation is here for you. Call 703.672.1661 to schedule an appointment, or you can request an appointment through our website.