Torticollis may be an inherited condition or may be the result of an injury. Sometimes, it occurs at birth and is called congenital torticollis. It may be due to the baby’s head not being in proper position during growth within the womb. Torticollis causes one’s head to appear tilted to one side and is due to the neck being contorted.
Spasmodic torticollis is extremely painful and includes spontaneous spasms of the neck. These spasms cause it to jerk forward or backward or twist to the side. Researchers are still working to find out what the cause is. Some studies have revealed that it may be related to trauma to the head or neck or, in the case of children, some type of trauma at childbirth leading to an injury to the cervical spine. Therefore, this condition also goes by the name cervical dystonia. It may take years for symptoms to begin showing up, or they may begin immediately.
Caring for Torticollis
Traditional care for torticollis may involve:
- Wearing a neck brace
- Botox injections – it may take several doses to get temporary relief
- Spinal surgery to correct dislocated vertebrae possibly caused by torticollis
- Doing some stretching exercises
- Putting heat on the upper neck and also including massage
- Prescription medications such as baclofen, an anticholinergic
Natural Relief for Torticollis
One area of natural care seeing much success is that of upper cervical chiropractic care. This is all-natural, pain-free care that does not require medications or surgery. Here at Scenic City Clinic of Chiropractic, we focus on making sure the bones of the upper cervical spine, particularly the C1 and C2 vertebrae, are in proper alignment. These bones lie at the very top of the spine and have the important job of protecting the brainstem and keeping the head at the proper angle.
Once we determine where the misalignment is, we employ a gentle method to help the bones realign naturally. This does not require us to pop or crack the spine. Rather, the bones are encouraged to move back into place on their own. Torticollis patients often see results in only a couple of visits.
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