Spasmodic Torticollis (Cervical Dystonia) Remedies

| Modified on May 22, 2023
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Spasmodic torticollis is a painful condition that affects the movement of the neck muscles. While the condition is relatively rare and no cure has been identified, several natural remedies have been identified that help mediate the condition. Nutritional supplements help reduce the stress on the system and control nerve functioning, making these supplements an effective treatment option.

What is Spasmodic Torticollis?

A condition that involves the involuntary contraction of the neck muscles, spasmodic torticollis is characterized by the turning of the head and neck to one side. This condition can also cause the head to tilt uncontrollably forward or backward. Some individuals experience a combination of abnormal head postures while others experience a jerking motion of the head. The cause of the condition is typically not identifiable.

Natural Treatments for Cervical Dystonia

While no cure has actually been identified for the condition, several natural treatments have been identified that support nerve and muscle function and help regulate cervical dystonia. Magnesium, lysine and iodine are among the most effective treatments for the condition; however, other nutritional supplements are also effective. Regulating the diet by reducing sugar intake and increasing whole, natural foods is also beneficial to the system.


Magnesium is an important nutrient for bodily function. This nutrient regulates blood pressure, supports strong bones and muscles and controls heart rhythm. The nutrient also controls the movement of calcium and vitamin C, which are important factors in maintaining effective nerve function.


Lysine is an important amino acid that functions in a variety of ways to treat spasmodic torticollis. The compound has been shown to reduce anxiety by increasing serotonin levels in individuals, which helps reduce the strain of the condition. The nutrient also helps rebuild and repair damaged muscular and skeletal tissue, which also contributes to treatment of the condition.


Iodine is a vital trace element that is a component of normal growth and development. Iodine aids in the removal of toxins from the body that may be contributing to the condition. This nutrient also aids the body in the utilization of important minerals like calcium and silicon, which also contribute to effective nerve function.

A condition characterized by involuntary muscle function of the neck, spasmodic torticollis is a painful condition that typically progresses as an individual ages. Effective natural remedies offer treatment with minimal side effects and risks.


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Tort From Russia (Moscow) on 12/30/2012

people try ayurvedic medicine it realy work afte 1.5 month of shirodara I feel no pain at all I hope be healthull

Replied by Swapna Saha

My only child is suffering from cervical dystonia.he has taken botox thrice but always it worked for 3/4 months and it is very painful injection as doctors say that they have to inject in the deep muscle. Recently he started taking ayurvedic treatment & sirodhara is one of them. Could you please let me know how long it takes to get cured?

Castor Oil

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Nicole (Virginia, US) on 02/05/2015

I have on and off torticollis from neck trauma from 14 years ago. It comes and goes every few months. Not sure what brings on the spasms but when they start it's hard to get rid of...makes daily functioning difficult...and takes many weeks to get range of motion back and pain to diminish. I've tried chiropractic adjustments, massage, moist heat, Tylenol for inflammation, elect. stimulation, ultrasound. All help to a degree but nothing earth shattering. But I've recently been reading about castor oil packs and when the symptoms returned this month, I tried it...with great success!!

After the 1st night with the pack, 80% improvement. 2nd night...95% improvement. I never made it to the 3rd treatment (3 are advised) but over the next 2 days, everything left seemed to resolve on its own and I was back to normal again. I was completely and utterly amazed.

I used the standard method for applying a castor oil pack...but left it on my neck overnight as I slept, instead of an hour during the day. I didn't sleep that I'd wake up often to reset the heat. And it got a little messy (extra towels and old clothes are necessary) since I shifted a little during sleep.

The 2nd night I added extra packs to other areas besides my upper neck, that were feeling pain or my scapula/spine area.

During the day...if there was any pain or spasm coming about... I'd dig my fingers into that area, press down very hard and massage it for a minute or two. It sort of disarmed the spasm, forcing the muscle to relax again.

I'm so so thankful for castor oil packs. I'm now using it on my hernia (after 1st night it's gone down by half).

Replied by Brenda
(Millbrook, Al)

Where do buy the Castor oil packs? I had spasmodic tortiscolis back in 1985 & it was so bad that I had surgery. I have no problem with it for 30yrs and it has come back on me. I have taken my first Botox injections which have helped but don't like the way it makes me feel. I would like to try this castor oil to see if it helps. I'm always searching for any treatments that would really work.

EC: Hi Brenda,

You can buy castor oil at your local health food store. Some health food stores carry castor oil wool flannel packs too. You can find both items on, as well as many other online sites.

Replied by Chinni

Dear sir, my brother (34yrs old) has been suffering from spasmodic torticollis since 8 months very severely, he had botox a month ago, but after botox the pain shifted to another muscle, now he is not at all able to bear pain and he has to wait for another botox for 3 months more, he left his job since last 8months, not able to eat, sit and sleep. He is the only person in the family who earns, but now he left his job, he is married and had a kid too. Please tell me how to control the pain.

Replied by Art
1962 posts

In reply to Chinni (Delhi),

Here is the description for torticollis:

I had never heard of it before as torticollis and apparently the cause is unknown and it can go away all by itself. If this is actually what your brother has, one thing he can try is to use an icepack on the area to see if it helps at all. If the ice pack helps then there is likely inflammation involved and this can possibly give you a direction to look at in terms of natural antiinflammatories such as turmeric, ginger root, boswellia serrata extract, arnica ointment or salve, scullcap, fish oil and accupuncture to name just a few. Another that might help to relax his over tense muscles is magnesium chloride oil applied topically. Because it is the neck area, you may have to dilute a commercial mag oil just a bit if it is irritating to the skin because some of these commercial products can be 70% . A 50% mixture will be milder on the skin. If he finds the mag oil to be too oily, he can try making his mag oil from magnesium chloride flakes and then instead of dissolving it in water, he can try something like gin, vodka or everclear to dilute it in. The alcohol instead of water helps to alleviate some of the oily feeling of magnesium chloride on the skin which can be bothersome, especially in the hot summer months. The mag oil is applied topically to the tense muscles and gently massaged into the affected muscles.

You did not go into much detail about how this is affecting your brother. Wikipedia says torticollis is also called "crick in the neck", a term that is used here in the states to loosely describe a stiff neck which is usually a temporary condition, but the fact that your brother has had this condition for 8 months with no real relief suggests more than just a stiff neck.

If what he has is actually some form of dystonia, you can research vitamin B1/thiamine. Thiamine has an excellent safety profile. Below is a link to an article to give you an idea about thiamine and its potential with dystonia.

These possible remedies should be discussed with your brother's doctor before using to be sure they are appropriate for his condition.


Replied by Iboro

Please how is the castor pack made for management neck pains and twisting from Torticolis?

Replied by Iboro

Please how is the castor oil pack and how is the heat applied to the pack? Please help me, I am in pains for a long time from the condition. Thank you.

(Kitchener On)

Hi Iboro

How to apply casteroil, cut cloth 10 by 8 inch.get frying pan-low heat with some casteroil to warm up.then fold cloth to the size you need and get it soaked in frying put soaked cloth on neck.cover with plastic wrap and put a electric blanket over the plastic-wrap. 2 hours then take a break and use same cloth over and over adding alittle casteroil when its getting dry.You can re-use for a month and then make a new one. Store in fridge when you dont use it.

When you are not putting casteroil pack you should apply 2-3 drops of D.M.S.O. Oil and rub gentley the area, it will fix nerves in the neck.

God Bless


Chiropractic, Supplements

2 User Reviews
4 star (1) 

Posted by Susan (Atlanta, Georgia, USA) on 11/27/2008

Hi, does anyone know of natural treatments for torticollis or dystonia? Medical doctors point us to botox but we do not want to do that. My daughter has had the condition very badly for seven years. Thanks to anyone who can help us.

Replied by Amber
(Ft. Myers, Fl)

We first sought a neurologist who said my husband wasn't in bad enough shape for any treatment at all. Then we found a Chiropractor who has additional training as a Natural Doctor. Understand the state of Fl doesn't offer a Natural Doctor's license anymore, so look for acupuncturists, chiropractors, etc. Anyway. My husband undergoes weekly neck adjustments and electro stimulation as well as takes supplements 3x per day of Ligaplex, Relax All and adreneloin. This is not a cure, however it has lessened the frequency, severity and pain associated with the shakes

Replied by Lina
(Tucson, Az)

I was just diagnosed with cervical dystonia which I have had since I can remember. I am now on Soma medication because I am not comfortable with the idea of Botox injections. My Soma medication is a muscle relaxer that makes me feel tired all the time but I have never slept better in all my life. However, I feel that it is too strong for me. If anyone has any suggestions I would really appreciate it.

Replied by Ginger
(Chandler, Az)

Hi, Go to This is a website that brought me hope. Hope it helps you.

Replied by Paul
(Clearwater, Kansas)

I will second Ginger's claim about THey offer a totally natural plan that has brought me great relief as I travel the rocky road toward recovery from ST

Replied by Ccd
(Bentveld, Noord-holland, Netherlands)

Hi, I can also confirm that the method of works. After 5 months following the method, my neck has started to straighten out quite well. However, my ST is not gone. Therefore I will travel to South Korea to a clinic that treats ST patients by balancing the temporomandibular joints. According to Dr. Lee, the method yields permanent results.

Replied by Craig
(Houston, Texas)

I would not be so quick to discount botox... I've suffered with severe torticollis for about 8 years, and without my regular botox treatments, I would be permanently disfigured by now (I've seen the poor folks who spent years of their lives untreated, and it isn't pleasant). Botox isn't perfect, but it is the best remedy that medical doctors have come up with so far, and I highly recommend you try the injections for your daughter before her disease causes irreversible harm.

Replied by Fletcher246
(Atl, Georgia, United States)

I had the botox last year and it did not help relax the area but did make it extremely hard to raise my chin up. I was very hopeful for botox but it has not been a compatible working option for me. I had surgery when I was 6 years old but my mother and I do not speak often and she can not recall what the details are... she also never took me to rehab for full and extended recovery.. I believe that is why for 30 something years I have had pain with ST, my right ear pulls down and my chin points up and to the left. Over the years I noticed through pictures that my face grew slightly less symmetrical which is likely due to the ST always pulling.. I have shoulder and hip trouble too.. I have been on pain and muscle relaxers but they are temporary fixes and like many other the muscle relaxers helped some but mostly just made me tired & I am a mother of 4 children so I have to be fully functioning... I find warm heat and stretching helpful and when I can afford regular chiropractic visits they are also very, very helpful..there are days when I can't drive because the pulling or stiffness is so strong... Has anyone out there heard about brain stimulation for ST? I am going to visit the stclinic. Also, has anyone heard if inversion tables help?

Happy to find a place to chat with others like me!!

Replied by Rachel
(Warm Springs, Ga)

myIndy husband has suffered from ST for 4 years now. He has tried everything the so called Drs have suggested. Nothing worked, including Botox. He sought the help of a fantastic Chiropractor named Dr Stephen Cooper in Phenix City, AL. He performs a 3 day outpatient procedure called Manipulation Under Anesthesia (MUA). It isn't a permanent cure, but he goes from being practically bedridden from pain and the need to walk with a cane due to constant falls to functioning normal with very little to no pain. The first time he had the procedure he was good for 9 months and then the 2nd for 1 1/2 years. Hope that helPs. He is going to the magnesium oil and see if that helps.

Multiple Remedies

1 User Review
4 star (1) 

Posted by Denise (Crescent City, CA) on 02/09/2019

I can see I am very fortunate to not have the extreme variety of Spasmodic Torticollis. But my head used to pull to the left, and down, and it was coupled with a tremor that I still have. I think honestly, by my Spasmodic Torticolus exercises, which many a mom has done on their babies with ST, has changed the degree of ST for me. I also walk about 6 miles a week which helps with all sorts of pain in my back and neck. Since I came to EC, I now use Magnesium and have been helped with both the ST, and the tremor. I take 400 Magnesium per day (right now have Mag. Malate, but prefer Glycinate) and also 200 mg per day of Mag. Citrate. I wish I could take all Citrate but it causes me to have diarhea.

My foods are full of anti-inflammatory properties, like Ginger, Turmeric, and Cinnamon.

I drink a home-made tea every day, sometimes 2 of the 1 and 1/2 Cup per day. The doctors also started me out on Botox, 2 in one side, 3 in the other, every 3 months, for about a year. I stopped those, because of lack of money to continue them, but continued on Clonazapam that the Neurologist prescribed.

I am still trying to get off my .5 miligram, but the calming effect when I get anxiety, or irritablility is hard to give up. But I take just a half of the .5 now, every other day.

Potassium Iodate

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Juan Rodriguez (Boynton Beach, Fl) on 04/17/2016

Spasmodic Torticollis:

For years I had muscle spasms in my lower back and tried Lugol's Solution, but it made me very nauseous so instead I switched to Potassium Iodate by Vitamin Research (you can find it on Amazon). It comes in capsules of 50mg, but since it's in a Potassium Iodate solution, only about 24mg of the iodine is available for absorption. Best of all, it acts like a buffer slowly absorbing into your system. At first I took it at night, but after a week or so it started keeping me up at night, so I switched to taking it in the morning with my Breakfast.

I don't even need coffee anymore and the pain and spasms in my back are completely gone!

Replied by Mj
(San Antonio, Tx)

Hi Juan,

I just read your post of 2016 and checked with Amazon for the Potassium Iodate. Unfortunately, it isn't available from Amazon any longer.

I am wondering how your Spasmodic Torticollis is today. Thank you. MJ

Remove Mercury Fillings

Posted by Bennymang (Fountain Hills, Az) on 07/27/2013

I was diagnosed, finally, with Spasmodic Torticollis.

I suggested to my neurologists and chiropractor that my 20+ year dental work may be affecting me. They said that was a crazy idea until I consulted the US Olympic team's chief council, Dr, Arnold Takemoto of Scottsdale, AZ who agreed with me there was mercury poisoning from 20+ mercury amalgam fillings in my mouth. Mercury is the 2nd most toxic element and a silver filling consists of 50% mercury, 35% silver... The mercury inside your mouth vaporizes 24/7/365 and attaches to your central nervous system, but notably your jaw-the hardest bone in your body that gets less blood flow. Your mouth has 10x more nerves than anywhere in your body, thus your taste buds. Bureaucratic Medical Associations will not agree with this, but they are the ones who put mercury in our mouths when they knew it was deadly. Of course it is a conspiracy.

He shared a story of a woman he treated who was paralyzed from the waste down, took his detox protocol and had the fillings removed. Within a month she received mobility and years later her muscles have become normal with regular use.

I am documenting my severe dystonia and my path to recovery. I believe it will be an extreme relief for the dystonia community. If you have not yet considered mercury fillings and any dental work or inorganic surgeries then it is time to reconsider.

Bennymang, Fountain Hills Arizona

Replied by Scott

I had my mercury fillings removed several years ago. My dystonia at the time was barely noticeable. It has gotten much worse since then. I do agree mercury is bad and possibly even a root cause but so could a lot of things if we are just guessing. I would recommend removing the mercury fillings but don't expect a miracle.... I didn't get one.