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Torticollis Treatments

Treatment

The treatment for torticollis depends on whether it is congenital or acquired. Treatment generally centers on physical therapy, oral medication, botulinum toxin injections, and surgery. Possible treatments may include:

Congenital Torticollis

  • Positioning of the infant to avoid sleeping on one side
  • Positioning of toys to encourage turning of the head
  • Stretching exercises several times each day
  • In some situations, surgery to cut the muscle that causes torticollis
  • Deep brain stimulation surgery

Acquired Torticollis

  • Identifying the cause
  • Physical therapy to help relax the muscle and reduce pain
  • In some situations, surgery to cut the nerve to the muscle that is in spasm
  • Oral medications:
  • Injections
    • Injection of botulinum toxin to weaken or partially paralyze the muscle—This may help improve neck posture, but only if begun soon after torticollis begins. The drug's effect wears off after several months and treatment must be repeated.
    • Injection of alcohol or phenol to deaden the nerve that causes the muscle contraction

Each of these options has risks and benefits. Work with your doctor to find the right treatment for you.

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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