Acute cervical torticollis is otherwise known as ‘wry neck’ and is not to be confused with other less common types of torticollis such as congenital torticollis or traumatic torticollis.

Patients often present to our Manchester clinics with torticollis unprovoked or aftersleeping in an awkward position. Acute torticollis develops overnight and results in painful, palpable neck spasms the following morning. Symptoms usually resolve within a few days lasting no more than 2 weeks.

Our physiotherapists usually treat torticollis with a view to reducing muscle spasm and restoring your neck movement. Early intervention is seen to provide the best outcomes and here at David Roberts Physio our Manchester physiotherapists have an in-depth understanding of practical torticollis treatment possibilities.

Treatment often involves heat (to reduce your spasm and improve your comfort), massage, exercises, manual therapy and stretching. This is done after full assessment of your condition and performed gradually to safely return you to full function.

Symptoms and causes.

Any abnormality or trauma of the cervical spine can present with torticollis. Trauma, including minor trauma (sprains/strains), fractures, whiplash injury, dislocations, and subluxations, often result in spasms of cervical musculature.

Patients with acquired acute torticollis present similarly with the head twisted to the affected side and the chin pointed toward the opposite shoulder. Patients complain of pain, neck stiffness, and decreased range of motion. Onset is generally acute. A thorough history and physical examination is necessary to identify treatable cases.


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