Symptoms and Signs of Torticollis

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Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Torticollis (Wry Neck Symptoms, Exercises, Treatment, and Prevention

Torticollis, sometimes called wry neck, refers to an abnormal position of the neck, typically appearing twisted to one side. It is caused by a disruption of muscle tone (dystonia) in the neck muscles that control the position of the head. This can arise due to a family history of the disorder, or it may come on suddenly from traumatic injury or as an adverse reaction to certain medications.

Symptoms of torticollis include twisting of the neck to one side. The head may be pulled forward or backward. Associated signs and symptoms include tenderness and pain in the muscles of the neck and the muscles binding the neck and shoulder. Other symptoms can include deviation of the eyes, headache, shoulder pain, protruding tongue, and muscle spasms in the neck.


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.