Torticollis (wryneck, cervical dystonia, nuchal dystonia) is a movement disorder characterized by involuntary contraction of neck musculature, involving especially sternocleidomastoid, trapezius, and splenius capitis. In the majority of cases (> 50%) this produces head rotation, but laterocollis, retrocollis, tremulous ("no-no") and complex (i.e., variable) forms are seen; antecollis is unusual. Contractions are usually unilateral, may be associated with local pain, and, as with other types of dystonia, may be relieved by a "sensory trick" (gesteantagoniste).

Causes of torticollis include: Idiopathic (the majority)
Secondary to acquired cervical spine abnormalities, trauma Cervical spinal tumor
Tardive effect of neuroleptics

The treatment of choice is botulinum toxin injections into the affected muscles. Injections benefit up to 70-80% of patients, but need to be repeated every three months or so.


Cross References

Antecollis; Dystonia; Geste antagoniste; Laterocollis; Retrocollis