Torticollis is a neck condition characterized by muscle spasm that forces the neck into rotation and lateral bending. This condition can be acquired through trauma to the neck or spine and surrounding musculature. One of the examples is a whiplash injury from an auto accident. When the person attempts to move their head into a normal neutral position this causes a lot of stress and stretching-type pain in the affected muscle.
Classic presentation of this condition usually involves the Sternocleidomastoid muscle (SCM). The SCM travels from behind the ear (on the mastoid process), to the front of the neck where the clavicle (collarbone) attaches to the manubrium (chest bone). This muscle aids in the flexion and rotation of the head.
Treatment for Torticollis depends largely on the cause. The approach starts with light stretching of the affected muscles. Massage therapy can help reduce muscle spasms and increase normal range of motion. Cervical (neck) manipulation by a Chiropractor can help encourage normal range of motion. Home exercises and postural training should be emphasized as part of the treatment plan.
If you are experiencing symptoms like this, it is important to have your condition evaluated by a Chiropractic physician.