A rare, typically idiopathic, brain disorder causing involuntary neck movements.
Often associated with pain.
Patients may be able to relieve their symptoms by touching their neck, head, or face in a certain way (sensory trick).
Targeted intramuscular injection of botulinum toxin is the therapy with the best proven efficacy. Oral medications and physiotherapy may also have a role in the treatment of the condition.
Surgical treatments are available for refractory cases.
Cervical dystonia, also known as acquired torticollis, is a focal abnormality of muscle tone that originates in the brain. It is characterised by involuntary contraction of neck muscles, abnormal neck movements, and an awkward posture of the head and neck. It is frequently associated with pain in the associated muscle groups.
History and exam
David B. Sommer, MD, MPH
Neurologist and Movement Disorder Specialist
Reliant Medical Group
DBS declares that he has no competing interests.
Dr David B. Sommer would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr Mark A. Stacy, a previous contributor to this topic. MAS has received speaking honoraria and consulting fees from Allergan, the manufacturer of Botox; he has received research grant support from Ipsen, manufacturer of Dysport, and Merz, manufacturer of Xeomin; he is an author of a reference cited in this topic. Duke University has received funding from Allergan for a continuing medical education program.
Allison Brashear, MD
Professor and Chair
Department of Neurology
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
AB declares interests in Allergan; she is an author of a reference cited in this topic.
Robert Werner, MD
Chief of PM&R
Ann Arbor VA Medical Center
RW declares that he has no competing interests.
Use of this content is subject to our disclaimer