Torcicolo - What To Do? What It Is, Symptoms and Treatment

Neck pain is one of the most common complaints at clinics and clinics, and may be due to a number of factors, including poor posture, injuries, activities with prolonged movements and postures in the neck, spasms in the muscles and also due to other conditions medical conditions.

The most common problems that can generate neck pain are the flu, meningitis, chronic diseases, infections, torticollis, among many others. Let's understand below what is the problem of torticollis, what are the main symptoms and learn what to do and how to perform the treatment of the problem.

What is torticollis?

The torticollis is a fairly common problem, but it must be treated correctly to avoid major problems. In 1912, a scientist identified and characterized the problem as a congenital deformity or acquired, being characterized by the inclination of the head toward the shoulder, causing neck.

There are several types of torticollis, including the congenital type, which consists of a fibrous contracture of the neck muscle, being detected at birth or in the first weeks of life. Another type is dermatogenic, which occurs due to extensive skin lesion in the region, mainly due to retractions during the healing process of burns.

The spasmodic type is one of the most common, occurring due to tensions of the cervical muscles, occurring due to trauma, physical overload and even emotional problems. The vestibular type happens as a function of an imbalance compensation of the body, the ocular type occurs due to the paralysis of extraocular muscles, the rheumatic can happen due to rheumatological diseases and, finally, the spurious type is caused by fractures and degenerations in the vertebrae cervical cancer.

The problem of torticollis can occur at any age, but it is more common in middle-aged people and also in women. Although this is a seemingly simple problem, when there is a muscular rigidity in the neck or when there is some trauma that muscle movements, it is important to seek the help of a physician to have the problem.

What are the main causes and symptoms of torticollis?

The causes related to congenital muscular torticollis are not totally clear, being associated with a birth trauma or due to a wrong intrauterine position muscle. Due to this, an excessive contraction of the same can occur, reducing its power of reach of rotation and of lateral flexion. Congenital torticollis is identified from 1 to 4 weeks of age by ultrasonography, thus assessing the baby's cervical movement.

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The torticollis usually happens due to a trauma in the cervical spine or in the muscles of the neck, and can also happen after a contusion in the spine or the neck. Stiff neck can be associated with other medical problems and conditions such as tumors, infections of the nervous system, hyperthyroidism, infections in the area of ​​the head, among many others.

In the case of acquired or non-congenital torticollis, there may be several different causes, resulting from scarring and diseases of cervical vertebrae, rheumatism, enlarged cervical glands, colds, unusual postures, adenitis, tonsillitis, tumors at the base of the skull, pharyngeal infections and heard. Anxiety and stress symptoms can also be factors that cause muscle tension.

The main symptoms of torticollis are headaches, neck pain, difficulty in moving the head, tremors, stiffness in muscles of the neck region, swelling of muscles, occasional formation of a mass, upper shoulder on one side of the body, among others.

How to treat torticollis?

It is very important that each type is identified and diagnosed correctly for the most appropriate treatment. There are different ways of treating torticollis that will be defined from the diagnosis and evaluation of the causes of the problem and to know how long each type of treatment lasts.

The first type of treatment most used is physical therapy. This basically consists of stretching and relaxing muscles and practicing strengthening exercises to stimulate muscle balance. This treatment solves many of the problems of torticollis, recommending the search of a physiotherapist.

  • See more:Better stretches for cervical.

Microcurrent therapy has also been widely used, especially in cases of congenital torticollis for children at least three months old. This therapy works by sending a certain amount of electrical signals per minute in the helping to restore blood flow, reducing muscle spasms and relieving pain inflammation.

The use of medication is also another type of treatment widely used, and it is recommended to use analgesics to the most acute cases, and of muscle relaxants, including the application of botulinum toxin in the region as alternative. The most commonly used drugs available on the market today are betatrinta, torsilax, musculare, miosan, diprospan, duoflam, cataflampro, ketofenid, cyclobenzaprine, coltrax.

In more severe cases, surgical intervention is necessary, making it one of the treatment options. Surgery can be performed minimally invasively and performed through laparoscopy, and is recommended only for those who are older than 12 months of age. Surgery should be indicated for the most severe cases and also when physical therapy or botulinum toxin injection has no effect.

In addition to the numerous types of treatment, prevention will always be the best of the options. Knowing how to sleep properly, maintaining an adequate posture, avoiding sudden movements and also creating a routine of stretching and relaxation of the region can greatly help avoid torticollis, which can cause a great deal of discomfort to the patient.

There are many ways to help with pain relief, such as using soft cervical collars to keep your neck immobilized, helping you recover. If there is a lot of pain, it is common to use heat, massage and also the application of ice to relieve pain in the neck area, head pain and stimulate reduction of inflammation in the local.


The problem of torticollis can have numerous causes that must be correctly diagnosed so that one chooses the ideal treatment for each case. This problem can generate simple symptoms, such as pain in the region, and may also have more serious consequences, requiring in some cases, including surgery.

Additional references:

  • Mayo Clinic Staff. (2014, January 28). Cervical dystonia.
  • Torticollis. (n.d.).

Do you suffer enough from the torticoll problem? What kind of treatment have you practiced? How long does the pain usually last? Comment below!

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