Definition of torticollis in US English:



  • A condition in which the head becomes persistently turned to one side, often associated with painful muscle spasms.

    Also called wryneck
    • ‘If torticollis is the cause of your baby's flattened head, a course of physical therapy and a home exercise program will usually do the trick.’
    • ‘Risk factors associated with positional head deformity are premature birth, hypotonic muscle disorders, congenital torticollis, and intrauterine constraint (such as in multiple gestation or oligohydramnios).’
    • ‘Currently most of us think it's the standard care for treating essential tremor, Parkinson's Disease and chronic pain, and now we're really starting to think it's good for dystonia and things like torticollis.’
    • ‘Radiological review of 13 children admitted with acute torticollis and fever found that just three actually had subluxation.’
    • ‘Dupuytren was the first to excise the mandible in a case of jaw tumor and treat torticollis by subcutaneous section of the sternomastoid muscle.’
    • ‘Affected babies will frequently turn their heads to one side, this is known as torticollis and the flattening will be focused on one side of the head.’
    • ‘Because the patient remained extremely psychotic and agitated, IM haloperidol was administered, but this produced a dystonic torticollis.’
    • ‘I had torticollis, a neck condition where my head tilted one way and my chin went the other.’
    • ‘In the head and neck region, myofascial pain syndrome with trigger points can manifest as tension headache, tinnitus, temporomandibular joint pain, eye symptoms, and torticollis.’
    • ‘Patients receiving injections into the neck muscles for torticollis may therefore develop dysphagia because of diffusion of the toxin into the oropharynx.’
    • ‘Now, as any neurologist knows, spasmodic torticollis is the bane of a neurologist, a most unrewarding condition to treat; after a few visits, both neurologist and patient end up equally depressed.’
    • ‘Currently in the U.S., botulinum toxin is licensed for treatment of cervical torticollis, strabismus, and blepharospasm associated with dystonia.’
    • ‘The only abnormal physical sign was her torticollis.’
    • ‘While we were able to deal effectively with his cluster headaches and other acute symptoms such a torticollis and severe numbness, there has been no real improvement in his neck, arm, and hand pain and numbness.’
    • ‘Hetty's form of the condition - spasmodic torticollis - causes the neck muscles to spasm twisting her neck to one side, which also affects the spine.’
    • ‘Exercises to relieve torticollis and positioning the rounded side of the head on the mattress may help correct a flattened head.’
    • ‘One patient (a 70-year-old female) with chronic torticollis experienced moderate pain relief with periodic treatments.’
    • ‘The medical term for such a ‘wry neck’ is torticollis.’
    • ‘We selected these muscles because they were often involved in stress-related disorders such as tension headache, spasmodic torticollis, and fibromyalgia.’
    • ‘Involvement of the neck musculature produces torticollis or retrocollis.’


Early 19th century: modern Latin, from Latin tortus ‘crooked, twisted’ + collum ‘neck’.