- The most common of the focal dystonias, torticollis is a state of excessive of inadequate muscle tone in the muscles in the neck that control the position of the head. It can cause the head to twist and turn to one side, and the head may also be pulled forward or backward. Torticollis can occur at any age, although most individuals first experience symptoms in middle age. It often begins slowly, and usually reaches a plateau. About 10 to 20 percent of those with torticollis experience a spontaneous remission, but unfortunately the remission may not be longlasting. Also known as spasmodic torticollis.
* * *A contraction, or shortening, of the muscles of the neck, chiefly those supplied by the spinal accessory nerve; the head is drawn to one side and usually rotated so that the chin points to the other side. SEE ALSO: dystonia. SYN: wry neck, wryneck. [L. tortus, twisted, + collum, neck]- benign paroxysmal t. of infancy intermittent recurrent episodes of head tilt and t. usually associated with vomiting; the disorder usually appears between 2 and 8 months of age and resolves by age 3.- congenital t. t. due to a unilateral fibrous tumor in the sternocleidomastoid muscle, present at birth as a swelling that may subside or may lead to t. by shortening of the muscle. SYN: muscular t..- dermatogenic t. painful stiff neck with limitation of motion due to extensive skin lesions in the area.- psychogenic t. spasmodic contractions of the neck muscles, of psychosomatic origin. SEE ALSO: spasmodic t..- spasmodic t. a disorder of unknown cause, manifested as a restricted dystonia, localized to some of the neck muscles, especially the sternomastoid and trapezius; occurs in adults and tends to progress slowly; the head movements increase with standing and walking and decrease with contractual stimuli, e.g., touching the chin or neck. SYN: dystonic t., rotatory tic.
* * *tor·ti·col·lis .tȯrt-ə-'käl-əs n a twisting of the neck to one side that results in abnormal carriage of the head and is usu. caused by muscle spasms called also wryneck
* * *(wryneck)n.an irresistible turning movement of the head that becomes more persistent, so that eventually the head is held continually to one side. This is a form of dystonia. The spasm of the muscles is often painful and the patient is sensitive about his appearance. It may be caused by a birth injury to the sternomastoid muscle (see sternomastoid tumour). Relief may be obtained by cutting the motor nerve roots of the spinal nerves in the neck region or by injection of the affected muscles with botulinum toxin.
* * *tor·ti·col·lis (tor″tĭ-kolґis) [L. tortus twisted + collum neck] abnormal contraction of the muscles of the neck, producing twisting of the neck and an unnatural position of the head. Called also wryneck. torticollar adj
Medical dictionary. 2011.