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December 8, 2004


Torticollis literally means "twisted neck." It is characterized by the affected person holding their head in an abnormal position. The condition may be present at birth because of abnormal positioning of the infant in the womb or birth trauma. Another manifestation is called spasmodic torticollis and is considered rare. And then there is acquired torticollis.

Acquired torticollis is caused by maintaining muscles in shortened positions for a prolonged period. The acute form might manifest as a result of a head or neck injury such as whiplash or concussion, in which symptoms may appear immediately or be delayed. Myofascial trigger points are another factor that either lead to the condition or perpetuate it. The condition seemingly appears "overnight" when, for example, a person has slept with his/her neck in an awkward position or a cold draft on their neck muscles. Other activities likely to produce acquired torticollis include holding the telephone between the head and shoulder, or playing an instrument, such as the violin, for long periods.

Posted by linda at December 8, 2004 11:06 PM

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