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Spasmodic Torticollis

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What is spasmodic torticollis?

Spasmodic torticollis is a condition that causes your neck muscles to contract (shorten and tighten). Your neck twists suddenly and causes your head to tilt or turn without control. You may have trouble moving your neck. You may also have headaches, neck pain, or shoulder pain. Your neck muscles may have spasms, stiffness, or swelling. Symptoms often gets worse with stress, sudden movement, or muscle strain. Spasmodic torticollis is also called cervical dystonia.

Vertebral Column

What causes spasmodic torticollis?

The exact cause of spasmodic torticollis is not known. You may have been born with the condition. Torticollis may happen after an injury to your cervical spine. It may also be caused by a medical condition that affects your muscles, bones, nervous system, eyes, or balance. Your risk may be higher if you have a family history of spasmodic torticollis.

How is spasmodic torticollis diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will examine your head and neck. You may also need any of the following:

How is spasmodic torticollis treated?

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options

What can I to do manage my symptoms?

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Treatment options

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.