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The Musculoskeletal System, Part 1

1-13. SPASMODIC TORTICOLLIS (WRYNECK)

Torticollis is the shortening of superficial and deep muscles of the neck. Spasmodic torticollis, also known as wryneck, refers to these muscles contracting spasmodically. Spasms. Spasms occur in the sternomastoid, trapezius, and other neck muscles. The result is that the head bends to the affected side, and the chin rotates to the opposite side. The head is in an unnatural position. Causes of this condition include basal ganglia disease, central nervous system infections, tumors in the bones or soft tissues of the neck, and psychological disturbances.

a. Signs/Symptoms of Spasmodic Torticollis. Signs and symptoms may occur suddenly or gradually. The condition affects males and females equally. The individual may find the condition occurring occasionally and mildly, or the condition may be permanent, causing a deformity in the person's posture.

b. Treatment of Spasmodic Torticollis. Follow this treatment:

(1) Remove local causes of the condition.

(2) Apply tactile pressure to the same side of the jaw as the head rotation.

(3) Refer the patient for psychiatric counseling.

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It is not the intention of SweetHaven Publishing Services or its affilates to provide specific medical advice but rather to provide students of medical technology and allied health professions with information that is helpful for their education and pursuit of their profession. The information provided here is to not be construed as medical advice, and SweetHaven Publishing Services urges visitors outside the medical professions to consult with a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to their personal questions.

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