This rare neurological disorder originates in the brain, causing involuntary muscle contractions to occur in the neck. Also referred to as spasmodic torticollis, this condition is characterized by repetitive twisting movements of the head and neck that occur intermittently or consistently. These movements can happen in various directions and are defined as follows:
- Torticollis – Twisting sideways, chin toward shoulder
- Anterocollis – Tipping forward, chin downward
- Retrocollis – Tilting backward, chin upward,
- Laterocollis – Tilting sideways, ear to shoulder
Additional symptoms include severe neck pain that extends to the shoulders as well as persistent headaches. The pain and discomfort can be debilitating.
Risk Factors for Cervical Dystonia
While there is no known cause for cervical dystonia, there are certain risk factors associated with it including:
- Women are twice as likely to develop this condition than men.
- It is possible for this to manifest in anyone of any age; however, it more frequently occurs after the age of 30.
- Those with a family history of this disorder are at a higher risk.
- Head, neck, or shoulder injuries can be linked to cervical dystonia.
Diagnosis for Cervical Dystonia
The medical team at the Desert Care Network is dedicated to providing an accurate diagnosis. Your doctor will conduct a physical exam which is generally sufficient at diagnosing this disorder. It is possible that additional blood tests as well as an MRI will be ordered to ensure there are not any underlying causes for your symptoms.
Treatment for Cervical Dystonia
At this time, no cure for this disorder exists. It is possible for cervical dystonia to resolve without treatment, but more commonly the relief is only temporary. Botox injections can assist with decreasing the symptoms. In certain instances, surgery may be appropriate. We work with you to develop a treatment plan based on your specific situation.
Schedule Your Appointment
Contact Desert Care Network to schedule an appointment for your health assessment. From diagnosis to rehab, we are with you every step of the way to provide the compassionate care you deserve.