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Neck and Shoulder Massage

What is Torticollis?

Torticollis, also known as wry neck, is a condition characterized by the involuntary contraction or tightening of the muscles in the neck, causing the head to tilt to one side. This condition can be congenital (present at birth) or acquired later in life. There are two main types of torticollis: congenital muscular torticollis and acquired torticollis.

  1. Congenital Muscular Torticollis (CMT):

    • Cause: This type of torticollis is usually present at birth and is often caused by the shortening or tightness of the sternocleidomastoid muscle, which is a muscle that runs along each side of the neck.

    • Symptoms: The most noticeable symptom is the tilting of the head to one side due to muscle tightness. In some cases, a lump or mass may be felt in the affected muscle.

  2. Acquired Torticollis:

    • Cause: Acquired torticollis can develop later in life and may be associated with various factors, including trauma, inflammation, or underlying medical conditions.

    • Symptoms: Similar to congenital muscular torticollis, acquired torticollis is characterized by a head tilt, but it is not present at birth. It may be associated with pain, and there can be stiffness or limited range of motion in the neck.

Common Symptoms of Torticollis:

  • Tilting of the head to one side.

  • Rotation of the chin in the opposite direction of the head tilt.

  • Stiffness and discomfort in the neck muscles.

  • Limited range of motion in the neck.

  • Pain or discomfort, especially with movement.

How can Chiropractic Care be helpful with Torticollis?

Chiropractic care may be considered as a complementary approach to managing torticollis, particularly in cases where the condition is associated with musculoskeletal issues or muscle tightness. However, it's crucial to note that the effectiveness of chiropractic care for torticollis can vary, and individual responses to treatment may differ. Here are ways in which chiropractic care may be used for torticollis:

  1. Adjustments and Manipulation:

    • Chiropractors may use manual adjustments and manipulation techniques to address joint restrictions or misalignments in the neck or spine. This can be done to improve joint mobility and reduce tension in the muscles.

  2. Soft Tissue Techniques:

    • Soft tissue techniques, such as massage or myofascial release, may be employed to target tight muscles in the neck and shoulders. This can help alleviate muscle tension and improve flexibility.

  3. Stretching Exercises:

    • Chiropractors may recommend specific stretching exercises to be performed regularly. These exercises aim to lengthen and relax the muscles, particularly those contributing to the torticollis.

  4. Postural Advice:

    • Chiropractors may provide guidance on proper posture and ergonomics to prevent or minimize the recurrence of torticollis. This advice may include recommendations for sleeping positions, sitting posture, and other daily activities.

  5. Home Exercises:

    • Patients may be given exercises to perform at home to complement the chiropractic care provided in the clinic. Consistent engagement in these exercises can contribute to improved muscle flexibility and function.

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