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Torticollis Symptoms & Diagnosis

Symptoms

Symptoms may include:

  • Rotation and tilting of the head to the affected side
  • Enlargement of neck muscles, possibly present at birth
  • Stiffness of neck muscles
  • Painful spasms of neck and upper back muscles
  • Limited range of motion of the head and neck
  • Headache

Muscles of the Neck

Neck Muscles
© 2009 Nucleus Medical Art, Inc.

Torticollis ranges from mild to severe. It usually progresses slowly for 1-5 years, and then plateaus. However, torticollis may persist for life and can result in limited movement and deformed posture.

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam.

Tests may include:

  • X-rays of the neck—a test that uses radiation to take a picture of structures inside the body
  • CT scan of the neck—a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of structures inside the body
  • MRI scan of the neck—a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of structures inside the body

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2019 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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