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Cause of Torticollis - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Brain and Spine
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2305 Questions
User :   I had pretty sudden onset of tension and tight pulling of my neck with pain feeling like a severely pinched nerve just above shoulder blade,forcing me to lock my head in a tilt to the side. This started friday night, was worse sat am so went to urgent care, could barely get in car because of the nerve pain. The doctor pretty quickly said I had a torticollis virus. Being a nurse for almost 20 years, I was surprised not to know about this! Why wouldn't this be described as simple neck strain related to my work? Being a XXX, I guess I like the simplest explanation- was I given an unneccesarily elaborate diagnosis? Feel a little bewildered. There was no exact cause I can pinpoint- it came on long after I got home from work. But, thankfully, 2 nights later it is almost gone and I'm moving my head like normal.
Doctor :   Hi
Doctor :   Dr XXX here
Doctor :   Let me read your query
Doctor :   May i know your age please?
User :   45
Doctor :   Was this pain for the first time?
Doctor :   Do you have any other problems?
User :   yes, of this intensity
Doctor :   Did you have any mild problem anytime before?
Doctor :   Of this kind?
User :   do get back pain in that area pretty often but never so immobilizing and have never needed medication for it
Doctor :   ok
Doctor :   Do you have Raised blood pressure, sugar or cholesterol?
User :   no- only at urgent care was 145 over 90 or so
Doctor :   Are you on any medications?
User :   birth control and paxil for mild anxiety and sleep problem which has not been a problem lately
Doctor :   See it seems like torticollis which can be due to various reasons, most common being sudden neck sprain
User :   why would I be told it is a virus?
Doctor :   Torticollis is involuntary contractions of neck muscles and leads to abnormal movements of head
Doctor :   Torticollis sometimes suggests an underlying disease as of cervical area or can be due to some infection
Doctor :   It is sometimes provoked by working in an abnormal posture
Doctor :   or any trauma or injury to cervical area can also present like this
User :   ok- sounds pretty straightforward (no pun intended)!
Doctor :   Sometimes upper respiratory infections also lead to this condition.
User :   I didn't realize that
Doctor :   If you experience any mild or moderate pain again get your complete investigations done to rule out any pathology.
User :   would blood work be important
Doctor :   It may be that you had taken stress and this would have caused it.
Doctor :   Blood investigations and also X ray of cervical area may be done
User :   ok, thanks
Doctor :   Is there anything else i can help you with?
User :   do people tend to get this on a regular basis once they've had it?
Doctor :   Not really
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions
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