Torticollis: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention, & - Healthroid

Torticollis: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention, & More

Priyank Pandey
Written by Priyank Pandey on October 03, 2022

Torticollis, also called the wry neck, is a condition in which the head is tilted to one side and the chin rotated to the other. The head may be tilted so far that it rests on the shoulder. The condition can occur at any age, but it is most common in infants.

The cause of torticollis is often unknown, but it may be due to an injury or inflammation of the muscles or joints in the neck. In some cases, torticollis may be caused by a birth defect or tumor. Treatment for torticollis depends on the cause. If the condition is due to an injury, rest and ice may be all that is needed. For more severe cases, physical therapy may be necessary. Surgery is rarely needed.


There are many causes of torticollis, a condition where the head tilts to one side and the chin points towards the shoulder. The most common cause is muscle tightness or spasms in the neck, which can be caused by a variety of things, such as poor posture, trauma, or stress. Sometimes torticollis can be caused by muscle damage, birth defects, or other medical conditions. In some cases, the exact cause of torticollis is unknown.


Torticollis, also known as a wry neck, is a condition that results in the head and neck being twisted to one side. The most common symptom of torticollis is a tilt of the head to one side. Other symptoms may include:

-A tilted chin

-A shoulder that is higher on one side

-A head that appears to be turned to one side

-Pain or discomfort in the neck, shoulders, or jaw

-Difficulty moving your head normally

If you have any of these symptoms, it’s essential to see a doctor so they can rule out other potential causes and provide you with the appropriate treatment.


There are a few different ways that doctors can diagnose torticollis. One way is through an electromyogram or EMG. This test measures the electrical activity of the muscles to see if they’re working properly. Another way to diagnose torticollis is through an X-ray. This can help doctors rule out any other potential causes of neck pain, such as a herniated disc. Finally, an MRI can be used to get a more detailed look at the muscles and tissues in the neck.



Torticollis, also called the wry neck, is a condition in which the head is tilted to one side and the chin rotated to the other. The cause is often unknown but may be due to muscle imbalance, injury, or birth defects. Treatment involves physical therapy to stretch and strengthen the muscles, and may also include massage, chiropractic care, bracing, or surgery. Medicines like pain medications and muscle relaxants may also help.


One of the best ways to prevent torticollis is to encourage your baby to move their head and neck as much as possible. This can be done by providing plenty of tummy time, holding them upright often, and gently moving their head from side to side.

Another prevention method is to avoid carrying your baby in a car seat, stroller, or another device that keeps their head in one position for long periods of time. Instead, try using a sling or wrap which will allow them to move their head more freely.

Finally, be sure to visit your doctor regularly for checkups. This will help ensure that any potential problems are caught early and can be treated effectively.

Risk Factors

There are many different risk factors that can contribute to the development of torticollis. Some of the most common include:

1. Birth trauma – this can occur during a difficult delivery when the baby’s neck is stretched or pulled too hard.

2. Placental abnormalities – these can cause blood flow restriction to the baby’s head and neck, which can lead to torticollis.

3. Congenital abnormalities – these can include things like webbed necks or shortened sternocleidomastoid muscles, which can cause torticollis.

4. Infections – both maternal and neonatal infections can lead to torticollis, as they can cause inflammation in the muscles of the neck.

5. Tumors – tumors in the neck can cause torticollis, and these are typically benign.

6. Muscle imbalance – this is a common cause of torticollis, and it is typically seen in adults who have sustained traumas to their neck or head as children.


There are a few potential complications that can arise from torticollis, particularly if the condition is left untreated. For instance, the muscles in the neck can become so tight and restricted that it causes headaches or migraines. In more severe cases, it can even lead to compression of the spinal cord or blood vessels, which can be incredibly painful and potentially dangerous. Additionally, because torticollis often leads to an abnormal head position, it can cause pain in the jaw or TMJ. If you think you may be suffering from torticollis, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible to avoid any serious complications.

When to see a doctor?

If your child has severe or persistent torticollis, it’s important to see a doctor. In some cases, the condition may be a sign of a more serious underlying condition.

Torticollis can also lead to problems with feeding and sleeping. If your child is having difficulty eating or breathing, or if they are not gaining weight properly, you should see a doctor.

If you notice that your child’s head is tilted to one side and they are unable to turn it to the other side, this is also a reason to seek medical attention. If torticollis is left untreated, it can lead to deformities of the head and neck.


A condition like torticollis can be difficult to manage, but with the help of a professional and a solid treatment plan, it is possible to improve the quality of life. The key is to remain positive and motivated throughout the process.

Published on October 3, 2022 and Last Updated on October 3, 2022 by: Mayank Pandey

Priyank Pandey
Written by Priyank Pandey on October 03, 2022

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