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Cervical Dystonia (aka Torticollis) Treatment in Westminster Denver Colorado

Overview

       Cervical dystonia, also called spasmodic torticollis, is a painful condition in which your neck muscles contract involuntarily, causing your head to twist or turn to one side.

       Cervical dystonia can also cause your head to uncontrollably tilt forward or backward.

       A rare disorder that can occur at any age, cervical dystonia most often occurs in middle-aged people, women more than men.

       Symptoms generally begin gradually and then reach a point where they don’t get substantially worse.

       There is no cure for cervical dystonia.

       The disorder sometimes resolves without treatment, but sustained remissions are uncommon.

       Injecting botulinum toxin into the affected muscles often reduces the signs and symptoms of cervical dystonia

       Surgery may be appropriate in a few cases.

Symptoms

The muscle contractions involved in cervical dystonia can cause your head to twist in a variety of directions, including:

     Chin toward shoulder

     Ear toward shoulder

     Chin straight up

     Chin straight down

The most common type of twisting associated with cervical dystonia is when your chin is pulled toward your shoulder. Some people experience a combination of abnormal head postures. A jerking motion of the head also may occur.

Many people who have cervical dystonia also experience neck pain that can radiate into the shoulders. The disorder can also cause headaches. In some people, the pain from cervical dystonia can be exhausting and disabling.

Causes

       In most people with cervical dystonia, the cause is unknown.

       Some people who have cervical dystonia have a family history of the disorder.

       Researchers have found gene mutations associated with cervical dystonia. Cervical dystonia is also sometimes linked to head, neck or shoulder injuries.

Risk factors

Risk factors for cervical dystonia include:

     Age. While the disorder can occur in people of any age, it most commonly begins after age 30.

     Your sex. Women are more likely to develop cervical dystonia than are men.

     Family history. If a close family member has cervical dystonia or some other type of dystonia, you are at higher risk of developing the disorder.

Complications

       In some cases, the involuntary muscle contractions associated with cervical dystonia can spread to nearby areas of your body. The most common locations include the face, jaw, arms and trunk.

       People who have cervical dystonia may also develop bone spurs that may reduce the amount of space in the spinal canal. This can cause tingling, numbness and weakness in the arms, hands, legs or feet.

Diagnosis

       While a physical examination alone can often confirm a diagnosis of cervical dystonia, your doctor might suggest blood tests or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to rule out any underlying conditions causing your signs and symptoms.

Treatment

       There is no cure for cervical dystonia. In some people, signs and symptoms may disappear without treatment, but recurrence is common. Treatment focuses on relieving the signs and symptoms.

Medications

       Botulinum toxin, a paralyzing agent often used to smooth facial wrinkles, can be injected directly into the neck muscles affected by cervical dystonia. Examples of botulinum toxin drugs include Botox, Dysport, Xeomin and Myobloc.

       Most people with cervical dystonia see an improvement with these injections, which usually must be repeated every three to four months.

       To improve results or to help reduce the dosage and frequency of botulinum toxin injections, your doctor might also suggest oral medications that have a muscle-relaxing effect.

Therapies

       Sensory tricks, such as touching the opposite side of your face or the back of your head, may cause spasms to stop temporarily. Different sensory tricks work for different people, but they often lose effectiveness as the disease progresses.

       Heat packs and massage can help relax your neck and shoulder muscles. Exercises that improve neck strength and flexibility also may be helpful.

       The signs and symptoms of cervical dystonia tend to worsen when you’re stressed, so learning stress management techniques also is important.

Our expert providers are experienced and skilled at treating torticollis and are your source for expert treatment of torticollis in Westminster and Denver Colorado. Not only are we the premier treatment for spine injuries and chiropractic in Westminster and Denver Colorado, but we also specialize in many other advanced treatment techniques such as shockwave, cold laser, graston technique, KT Taping, activator, instrument aided spinal alignments, drop table, toggle, in house rehab services, and on site digital xrays. We are your Premier destination for torticollis treatment in Westminster Colorado and Denver Colorado Chiropractor.