Monday, October 31, 2011

The Begining of Fall...Torticollis season!

Torticollis is just a fancy name for stiff neck basically.  With the air conditioners turned off and folks not quite ready to turn on that heat, the cold night air can leave you waking with a bit of a pain in the neck.  Basically, when a patient has torticollis, they find their heads locked in a flexed, lateral position which can be extremely uncomfortable and irritating.  The good news is that this is treatable in a relatively short amount of time.  The cause of this is usually a spasm in the trapezius and sternocleidomastoid muscles on one side of the body.  These muscles contract, remain contracted, and cause the neck to bend towards the shoulder and the head to twist down.  Moving ones head out of this position while these muscles are in spasm can be extremely painful.  To help reduce the spasm, heat is helpful to loosen up the affected muscles.  Massage is also very effective to decrease the spasticity of the muscles.  Of course seeing your favorite muscle doctor can also help you back to enjoying these gorgeous fall days much faster!