Your friendly Chiropractor in Chandler AZ, Dr. Dan Rae, is back at the computer today to talk about a condition that a good majority of us have dealt with, but we probably never received treatment for it, and we probably did not know what it was. I am talking about Torticollis. Actually, what I am going to address today is really called Pseudotorticollis or Spasmodic Torticollis, but everyone refers to it as Torticollis so I will do the same.
A good majority of us, if not all of us, have woken up in the morning, and we were not able to straighten out our neck without a substantial amount of pain. I remember experiencing this at about the age of 11 or 12, and the pain was almost unbearable. We do not know the cause of this condition currently, but there is severe spasm of the sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle, which causes the head to be held in rotation and slight flexion
This individuals usually come into my office complaining of severe pain in there neck with the inability to look straight forward. They are unable to move the neck at all without experiencing substantial pain, and they all say that they woke up this way with no apparent trauma or obvious cause. The head is held in a neutral position.
Treatment with Torticollis is quite simple, but there are times when we are not able to perform chiropractic manipulation from the beginning. There are times when the SCM is in so much of a spasm that trying to manipulate the neck would cause substantial pain. We can determine when it is okay to manipulate the neck by the range of motion achieved when the patient is completely relaxed and the doctor take the patient through ranges of motion. If the patient has decent range of motion, then manipulation can occur. We want to try and manipulate the neck as soon as possible to reintroduce motion into the spinal joints, and this will aid in decreasing muscle spasm. Soft-tissue therapies such as Active Release Technique (ART) and Graston Technique are implemented as well to help decrease muscle spasm and prevent chronic shortening of the SCM.
If you are suffering from Torticollis, call my office today (480) 366-4041. We can Help!