What is torticollis (wryneck)?

Torticollis, also called wryneck, is a condition that causes short, tight neck muscles. Shortened neck muscles cause the head to tilt to one side, and usually cause the chin to turn inward and down, toward the opposite shoulder. This condition can be present at birth or develop in adults. In adults, it may develop due to damage to the nervous system, upper spine or muscles in the upper body. Symptoms include neck pain and stiffness, headaches, problems turning the head, and one shoulder that is higher than the other. Sometimes, torticollis can be treated with muscle stretching. Other possible treatments include neck braces, medications and injections, and surgery. Torticollis is not usually life-threatening, but should be diagnosed and treated by a doctor to avoid more serious problems.

Continue Learning about Neck Injury

Are all neck injuries serious?
National Athletic Trainers' AssociationNational Athletic Trainers' Association
Not all neck injuries end up being serious. However, all neck injuries should be treated as if t...
More Answers
Can whiplash be prevented?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Whiplash is often caused by unexpected stretching of the neck muscles and ligaments. While it is sim...
More Answers
What is whiplash?
Riverside Emergency and Trauma CenterRiverside Emergency and Trauma Center
Whiplash-a soft tissue injury to the neck-is also called neck sprain or neck strain. It is character...
More Answers
What are some restrictions for an athlete after a serious neck injury?
National Athletic Trainers' AssociationNational Athletic Trainers' Association
If a doctor has cleared the athlete to play, there may not be any restrictions. In football, a s...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.