Last Modified on Feb 25, 2014
A relatively common condition in newborns, torticollis appears as a characteristic twist in the neck. While the condition may be inherited or acquired, the condition can often be treated using a balanced approach. Chiropractic care, dietary changes and nutritional supplements can help correct the condition naturally and effectively.
What is Torticollis?
Torticollis is defined as a twisted neck in which the head is tipped to one side and the chin is turned to the other. Symptoms include limited range of motion, headache, head tremor, neck pain, unevenness in the shoulders, stiffness in the neck and swelling of the neck muscles. The condition may be inherited or acquired as the result of damage to the nervous system, spine or muscles.
Holistic Treatment for Head and Neck Dystonia
Treatment of torticollis centers on increasing the flexibility of the muscles in the affected side. Treatment often includes chiropractic care, dietary changes and nutritional supplements. These treatment options work together to improve the overall health of the individual and to treat the underlying cause of the condition.
A chiropractor or even a physical therapist can evaluate an affected individual and create a plan of action for treating the condition. Treatment often includes a variety of strengthening exercises as well as stretches to promote mobility and alignment of the head and neck. Massage may also be included in a care plan.
A balanced diet ensures that the individual is getting the appropriate amount of nutrients throughout the day, which supports treatment. Additionally, a whole food diet with limited sugar and processed items limits toxins and agents that may be contributing to the condition. A balanced diet should include more plant-based foods and proteins, good fats and the appropriate serving of fruits and vegetables daily.
Supplements are also important for supporting treatment. B vitamins are particularly important for treating the condition as they promote energy and healing. These vitamins aid in building and maintaining connective tissue in the body.
A condition that can develop in childhood or adulthood, torticollis involves the manifestation of a shortened neck muscle that causes a characteristic twist in the neck. Natural methods including stretching and massage as well as dietary changes and supplements are effective for treating the condition.
04/08/2010: Mary from San Antonio, Texas: "Do you know of any possible relief for Anterocollis? It is is a form of cervical dystonia which produces repetitive and predictable muscle contractions of neck flexion of chin to chest movement. I appreciate any recommendations. Thank you."Replies
04/18/2010: Harriet from Federal Way, Wa replies: "Hello,
I have been a chiropractic patient for 30 years due to loose ligaments (hypermobility). Over that course of time I have learned alot about my body and the way the body responds to things. Often people complain about a muscle spasm that worsens over time. They have massages or utilize physical therapy. Unfortunately, those often treat just the symptoms and don't treat the root of the problem.
IF you have a maladjustment in your spine (i.e. "my neck is out" or "my back is out") the muscles on the opposite side of where the vertebra is 'out' will attempt to counterbalance the strain and pull that vertebra back into proper positioning. The longer the status quo remains unchanged the worse the spasm becomes. When the proper adjustment is made and the body alignment is corrected that muscle or muscle group can then relax.
Often one will then need physical therapy to coax that muscle into remembering what it feels like to not be trying to correct a problem. Thus Chiropractic and PT can work together to bring healing.
I had been under manual 'thrust' type of chiropractic for about 15 years, and the last 15 with the Atlas Orthoginal method. Some doctors advertise "activator method" but are not "Atlas Orthoginal Practitioners". Just using the hand held 'activator' will not sufficiently correct the Atlas (the 1st vertebra that holds your head in place) but what is needed is the Atlas Machine to correct that Atlas placement after specific xrays to obtain the exact measurements necessary to make a proper adjustment. These adjustments do not hurt. As a fibromyalgia patient, my body has responded so much better to the AO method as there is no stress on the muscles (no shove, 'crack!' stuff).
If Earthclinic will allow, these urls might bring some insight:
RE:Atlas Orthoginal -- http://atlasorthogonality.com/PatientSite/aboutAO.html
RE: torticollus -- http://www.chiroweb.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=43050
RE: anterocollus -- http://www.artipot.com/articles/411157/chronic-cervical-dystonia-sufferers-find-relief-with-chiropractic.htm
This will not be a remedy that is effected by one visit though you will probably feel some better even after the first visit. You will undoubtedly need a scheduled program of visits if you have been dealing with this for any length of time and/or it is quite severe.
Having thought we were moving to San Antonio last year, I did an extensive search for an AO doctor. They are difficult to find. The AO website doesn't show any, though I believe I found one practitioner through a dedicated search, but can't remember who it was. There is also Stakes Chiropractic, an AO in Austin, which you could perhaps contact if you are interested in this method. Maybe he knows of someone in San Antonio. http://www.stakeschiro.com/contact_information
I hope that helps! And no, I am not a chiropractor, nor do I play one on TV. Just a VERY satisfied patient who couldn't live without my A.O. Doctor!"
01/02/2011: Mary from San Antonio, Tx, Usa replies: "Hello Harriet,
Happy New Year. You wrote me back in April about Atlas Orthoginal Chiropractic. For a long while I wasn't utilizing Earthclinic until yesterday and saw that you had so graciously taken the time to write in hopes that I would find some relief. After some search on the intrnet I did locate a chiropractor here in San Antonio that practices Atlas Orthoginal and to top things off he is only 4 miles from my home. It makes a lot of sense that such a vertabrae can get out of alignment and cause problems. I plan on visiting with him next week and just wanted to thank you again for your kindness in extending this information to me. I hope 2011 is your best year yet and that you find yourself blessed with many wonderful surprises throughout the year. Mary"
01/25/2011: Dr. Hale from San Antonio, Tx replies: "Mary, Who is the AO Chiropractor that you found in San Antonio? I am a dentist with a focus on TMJ/TMD treatment and I have not been able to find an AO Chiro doctor yet! Thank you, Brian Hale, DDS"
08/04/2012: David from Anchorage, Ak, USA replies: "In addition to the AO Chiro the NUCCA - National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association is an option. I also believe that Cranial Sacral work is of benifit."