Torticollis or generally called as wry neck is a condition in which the neck is tilted to one side and the vision is also focused on one side. This condition can occur in infants because of a birth problem or can also happen in adults as a result of accidents. Torticollis can either be acquired or congenital. But, the condition can be cured with the help of regular therapies and the right medication. Acquired torticollis is seen rarely as compared to congenital torticollis. The earlier the problem is diagnosed the sooner it can be corrected.
The cause behind congenital torticollis is unknown, but it can still be said that because of a birth trauma or wrong positioning of the fetus in the womb can cause damage to the muscle in the neck. This results in shortening of the muscle and increase in contractions. This leaves the infant with a limited movement of the neck and with a lateral bending. The head gets tilted in the lateral bending and the affected muscle leaves the neck rotated towards one side. At time, there can also be a mass in the muscle, which causes the problem. This is gradually seen to disappear but at times the muscle becomes fibrotic.
The condition of congenital torticollis is treated with the help of physical therapies and stretching that corrects the tone and strength of the muscle. At times a TOT collar can also be used. If the condition cannot be corrected with the help of physical therapy then a surgery might be performed. Other causes behind this can be infections, tumors or an ophthalmologic problem. An ocular torticollis cannot be corrected by physical therapy and there are other modes of treating this type of condition. If torticollis is left untreated then there are chances of developing facial asymmetry. The position of the head should be corrected before the child reaches adulthood.
On the other hand, acquired torticollis can occur at any age and can affect normal children and also adults. Any trauma caused to the neck can result in tearing of ligaments leading to torticollis. This can be treated by casting and healing of ligament injury. Occurrence of tumors in the skull can compress the supply of nerves to the neck and it can lead to torticollis. This problem is treated with the help of a surgery. Also, an infection in the pharynx can lead to irritation of the nerves that supply the neck muscles and result in torticollis. This type of problem can be treated with the help of medicines like antibiotics.
Ear infections and the removal of adenoids surgically can cause a condition called as Grisel’s syndrome. This causes inflammation in the ligaments of the cervical joints and should be corrected by a surgery or through manipulation of the neck. It has also been seen that by the use of drugs like antipsychotics can also cause torticollis. Apart from these causes there are also many rare reasons behind the syndrome. Regardless of what the cause is, if the condition is treated in the primary stages it can be corrected easily.