"A college undergraduate student was driving home for Thanksgiving break, a long drive of ten hours, made longer by the heavy holiday traffic. While chatting with his car mates, he slouched in the driver's seat, his left arm dangling on the top of the steering wheel and his right hand nestled on the center console. Ten straight hours of a twisted posture with an elevated left shoulder.
"The next morning, he awoke in excrutiating pain. He could not move his head in any direction without a burning, blinding pain stabbing into the left side of his neck. He was completely immobilized by the neck pain.
"This is one form of torticollis. This was my experience.
"Torticollis is a sustained spasm of some neck muscles, which, if it lasts long enough, can cause the muscles themselves to shorten, become fibrotic, and even fill with scar tissue. It is commonly seen among newly-born infants (called congenital torticollis), although many adults may acquire torticollis as well. Many forms of congenital torticollis are painless, but cause considerable problems with the child's ability to develop hand-eye coordination. Most forms of adult torticollis are accompanied by severe pain.
"I sought care from my father, an Activator chiropractor. He treated me immediately with chiropractic adjustments and ice packs. As a direct result of the intervention, my torticollis resolved after an unforgettable three days of pain. Now, as a chiropractic doctor myself, I take great pleasure in helping patients with their torticollis symptoms." -- Dr. Johnson
How We Can Help Your Torticollis
Torticollis is often a classical musculoskeletal condition: that is, either the muscles themselves are directly injured, or the nerves which supply the muscles are dysfunctional. Musculoskeletal conditions respond dramatically to chiropractic treatment, since the chiropractic adjustment is designed to directly affect the nervous system, the spinal column, and the adjacent muscles.
Some types of adult torticollis can be resolved within days or even hours. Most congenital torticollis takes longer, since the condition was usually developing long before the first chiropractic intervention. Often, the muscle itself must first be relaxed before it can heal and regenerate. After a long history of torticollis success, chiropractors have a great deal of confidence with this condition.
In particular, Johnson Family Chiropractic is pleased to provide the gentle Activator Methods adjustment. No further bending or twisting of the neck is necessary, since the Activator instrument delivers just the right amount of delicate force in just the right direction without any need for additional tension in the neck. This low-force intervention allows the muscles and vertebrae of the neck to regain their proper motion and function, and is especially useful in adjusting infants with torticollis.
Once the essential Activator adjustment has been delivered, there are many other ways to further address the residual soreness in your neck as your neck muscles begin the process of relaxation and reeducation. Stretching, cold packs, massage to relax the muscle and loosen adhesions and scar tissue, cold laser therapy, ultrasound, electric stimulation, and rehabilitative exercises are some of these strategies. Each of these are non-invasive and non-drug ways to restore function and eliminate pain.
- vertebral misalignment causing nerve dysfunction
- prolonged abnormal posture
- birth injury, inadequate blood flow to a baby in her mother's uterus, abnormal positioning in the uterus (all of these are called congenital torticollis)
- unknown causes (called idiopathic torticollis, the most common form in adults)
- neck sprain
- vigorous neck movements
- certain drugs
- bony abnormalities