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.

Oct. 29, 2016
References
  1. Dystonias fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/dystonias/detail_dystonias.htm. Accessed Sept. 27, 2016.
  2. Frontera WR. Cervical dystonia. In: Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 27, 2016.
  3. Comella C. Classification and evaluation of dystonia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 27, 2016.
  4. AskMayoExpert. Cervical dystonia (spasmodic torticollis). Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
  5. Comella C. Treatment of dystonia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 27, 2016.