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Symptoms of torticollis and exercises to cure it

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Torticollis is a very annoying neck pain that can limit its mobility , since in some cases it only manifests itself through slight stiffness of the muscles and in other cases it presents with very intense pain when trying to turn the head. Torticollis is a very common condition , in fact it is believed that all people will suffer this pathology once in their life, since it is usually the result of poor body posture or a bad night’s rest .

In addition to neck pain, this condition can be accompanied by back pain, chin stiffness, headache, and muscle tension in the trapezius and neck muscles. However, it is the pain and the inability to move the head that is most annoying and that can make a person’s daily activities considerably difficult. If you are in search of an efficient alternative to alleviate this discomfort, we invite you to continue reading this article by FastlyHealwhere you will be able to know what are the best exercises to cure torticollis .

Why do you get stiff neck?

Torticollis is a very common condition usually caused by improper head position for a long time , which causes stiffness and abuse of the neck muscles causing pain and limiting movement. Although poor body posture is responsible for causing neck discomfort, there are some factors that increase the risk of torticollis , let’s know what they are:

  • Sleeping with a much higher pillow.
  • Tightening the jaw muscles during sleep, a condition known as burxism .
  • Stress, anxiety, or tension before sleeping.
  • Genetic influence or hereditary torticollis.
  • Muscle injury from a blow, impact (whiplash), or sudden movement of the neck muscles.
  • Rectification of the cervicals.
  • Congenital torticollis due to a poor position of the baby’s head at birth.

Symptoms of torticollis

Although pain is the most characteristic symptom, there are other physical manifestations that define the discomfort of torticollis:

  • Shaking of the head
  • Headache.
  • Shoulder higher than another.
  • Cervical pain.
  • Stiffness and tension in the neck muscles.
  • Limited head movement.
  • Pain over the shoulders.

Exercise 1 to cure torticollis

The exercises to cure torticollis consist of a series of stretches that allow the muscle to relax and can loosen the tension and stiffness acquired by poor posture. As the stretches take effect, the mobility of the head will be able to recover little by little and neck pain will decrease considerably.

The first stretch recommended to cure torticollis is to try to touch the shoulder with the ear on the most affected side . It is likely that you will not succeed, the important thing is to try to lower your head to the side slowly and without forcing the movement so that the muscle stretches and regains mobility little by little, until you can touch the shoulder with the ear without experimenting any discomfort or pain.

Ideally, repeat this stretch 10 times on each side and then rest. Although this exercise may seem simple, we must be careful not to injure the neck and its muscles more, and we can only achieve that if we do not exceed the number of repetitions. Do the stretch with your back straight , preferably in front of a mirror, with your shoulders slumped and using gentle, careful movements.

Exercise 2 to relieve torticollis

The second stretch consists of trying to turn the head to the side as if we wanted to see the back of our shoulder. Once the maximum mobility capacity has been reached when turning the neck, that position should be maintained by stimulating the stretch with the help of the fingertips of the hand on the side to which we are turning.

It is advisable to maintain this movement for a minute on the left and right sides. This exercise should also be performed by turning the head downwards, only in this case both hands should be on the head to exert a subtle downward pressure, as if we were constantly saying “yes”. We will know that we are doing these exercises correctly because when we do the stretch we will feel the tension in the trapezius.

Exercise 3 to cure torticollis

Sitting in front of a mirror with our back straight, our necks erect and our shoulders drooping, we begin to raise our arms from shoulder level to above our heads, interlocking our hands when meeting and holding the posture for a few seconds to return to start. This exercise is very effective in reducing inflammation of the neck muscles that extend up to the trapezius.

Exercise 4 for torticollis pain

As in the first stretch, we will turn our head to the side as if we wanted to touch the shoulder with our ear, only this time we will help ourselves with our hand . That is, if we are facing the front and we turn our head sideways towards the right shoulder, it will be the right hand that embraces our head to subtly exert a very slight downward pressure. It is best to hold this position for a minute and then do it on the other side.

Tips to improve torticollis

  • Apply cold compresses to the affected area to decrease inflammation of the muscles and improve pain.
  • Avoid massaging the muscles yourself to prevent improper movement from worsening your condition. Massages for torticollis do work but must be used by a specialist in physical therapy.
  • The pain is relieved with cold, but the muscles relax with heat . You can apply a damp towel with hot water on your shoulders to decrease tension.
  • Do not lift any type of weight or exercise.
  • Keep your neck straight and avoid having bad body posture . Remember to always keep your shoulders slumped.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers for pain.
  • Protect your neck from the cold to avoid stiffness and tremors in the area.
  • If the pain is constant and does not alleviate after two days, it is recommended that you visit the doctor to prescribe a stronger treatment and evaluate the need for physiotherapy for a few weeks.
  • Change your lifestyle habits to fix the cause of your stiff neck.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Exercises to cure torticollis , we recommend that you enter our Bones, Joints and Muscles category .

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