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What is Torticollis?

Torticollis is a disorder that affects flexion, extension, and/or twisting of muscles of the neck in an abnormal position and is more common in women than in men. What happens is the neck twists to one side, which in turn causes the head to tilt. The main cause of Torticollis is unknown but there are a few ways that this disorder is believed to be brought on. It is known to come about if it is in the family history, it can be caused by trauma, bad reaction to medications, or bending or twisting of the neck too far.  When it is due to a family history it is called spasmodic torticollis. Torticollis can occur at anytime but is mostly seen between the ages of 25-55. However, children sometimes complain of neck pain after a sleepover or nap because they are sleeping in a new position where the muscles of the neck can shift. Another reason children can get torticollis is from being sick due to swollen painful neck glands. There are three different types of Torticollis: Tonic, which is when the head turns to one side; Clonic, which is when the head is shaking; and Mixed, which is a combination of shaking and turning of the head.

How do you know if you have Torticollis?

Torticollis symptoms usually come about slowly and start with having a hard time keeping your head up. It can fall backwards, forwards, to the side or to the shoulder. Many times you will not even notice it at first; someone else will tell you that your neck is crooked.  The simple body movement of keeping your head up will seem almost impossible to do. Within a few years this disorder levels off and does not get any worse or better.

Luckily, Physical therapy can treat Torticollis!

The longer this disorder goes without treatment the harder it is to treat. Physical therapy can fix this disorder and can relieve the symptoms you are feeling. A physical therapists main goal is to get your head back to a normal position and have a normal range of motion. Once this happens it will then decrease the pain and eventually lead you to having normal functions. A physical therapist will mainly move your neck in a normal motion, which will stretch out the muscles and get rid of the spasm.

We feel like we have the best physical therapists around. Did you know you don’t need a referral to get help from a Physical Therapist? Direct access is available for you, please call us and set up an evaluation so we can help get you back on your feet. In Orange County we offer Physical Therapy in Chester, Goshen, Monroe, Port Jervis, and Montogmery. Westchester County has Physical Therapy in Armonk, Bedford, and Hawthorne. In Ulster County we offer Physical Therapy in Wallkill, while in Sullivan County you can get Physical Therapy in Ferndale. To round out our 12 locations in New York, those living in Rockland County can go to Physical Therapy in New City as well as Pomona.  If you happen to live in PA, we also have Physical Therapy in Milford and Dingmans Ferry of Pike County.  Give us a call today!