Acquired Torticollis Resolved Under Chiropractic: A Case Study

What is Wry Neck? Can Chiropractic Help Torticollis?

The Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics published a case study in their December 2016 issue documenting the resolution of a case of acquired torticollis in a baby. Torticollis, sometimes known as wry neck, is a condition where the head is tilted significantly downward and to one side. This is usually due to a pulling from the muscles of the neck.

Acquired Torticollis Resolved Under Chiropractic - Austin Texas Chiropractor Best Reviews Most Trusted Palmer CollegeThe study points out that there are two types of torticollis, congenital and acquired. Congenital torticollis is present at birth and is defined by WebMD as, “Congenital torticollis occurs when the neck muscle that runs up and toward the back of your baby’s neck (sternocleidomastoid muscle) is shortened. This brings your baby’s head down and to one side.” Acquired torticollis is similar except that it was not present at birth, and may have been caused by some form of trauma to the child.

In this case, a 31-month-old boy was brought to the chiropractor because the boy was suffering from neck pain and torticollis for the past six weeks. The history revealed that two weeks prior to the onset of problems the boy had fallen while trying to climb into a stroller. No one witnessed the actual fall, but the boy was complaining of left knee and ankle pain and he was limping. A few days later, the torticollis appeared.

A week after the fall, he was brought to a pediatric hospital where x-rays of the left knee and ankle were taken and determined to be normal. The medical diagnosis was an ankle sprain. A prescription of ibuprofen was given for the pain and inflammation. One week later, the child was again brought back to the hospital for the neck pain and torticollis. At that time, additional x-rays and blood tests were performed but determined to be normal.

One month after the hospital visit, the boy was brought to the chiropractor. He was suffering persistent limping and torticollis. The neck pain was more severe at night and had gotten so bad that the boy had started to hit his forehead with his hands. He was also suffering from fatigue, and was lethargic and irritable.

A chiropractic examination was performed and chiropractic care was initiated. Each visit, the results and improvements were recorded. After the first visit, it was reported that the boy had improved about 25% and was now able to lie on his back. By the second visit, he was sleeping better, was less irritable, and the ibuprofen was discontinued. By the third visit, there was no visible torticollis and no complaints on all subsequent visits.

In their conclusion the authors noted, “Neck conditions are the second leading reason for patients seeking chiropractic care in Canada and the United States. It is therefore probable that a parent may seek chiropractic care for a child who develops a torticollis.” They continued, “Pediatric chiropractic care proved beneficial for this young boy with acquired torticollis.”

If you or anyone you know could benefit from a better functioning nervous system, please call us at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson. We are located in north central Austin, TX.


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Neck Curve and Quality of Life Improved Under Chiropractic Care

On December 7, 2015, the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a study documenting the case of a patient with an arthritic reversed neck curve being helped with chiropractic.

Neck Curve and Quality of Life Improved Under Chiropractic Care - Austin TX Chiropractor Swanson CelebrityThe authors of the study begin by noting the importance of proper curvatures in the spine. As viewed from the side, the spine should have a forward curve, known as lordosis in the neck; a rearward curve, known as kyphosis, in the middle back; and another lordosis curve in the lower back. These normal curvatures are essential to properly distribute forces through the body.

Without a proper curvature in the neck, forces of daily activity can create multiple structural and functional problems in the neck including subluxations. According to research, a number of conditions and symptoms have been linked to the loss of neck curvature. These include mechanical neck pain, cervical-brachial neuralgia, vascular headaches, migraine headaches, cervicogenic headache, numbness, vertigo, nausea, airway obstruction, suboccipital pain, occipital neuralgia, numbness or tingling, muscle spasms, and decreased neck range of motion.

In this case, a 31-year-old man went to the chiropractor seeking relief. His complaints included arthritis in his neck, stabbing pain in ribs, and numbness/tingling in both hands. He reported that his neck problems had started 8 years earlier and caused a sharp stabbing pain. He reported that rotating and popping his neck gave him some temporary relief. He was also suffering from sleep issues and fatigue as well as shortness of breath, heartburn, and depression.

A chiropractic examination was performed that included palpation, range of motion, heart rate variability testing, surface electromyography, thermal scans and spinal x-rays. The tests were performed to detect the presence of subluxation as well as to monitor the body’s response to care.

Specific chiropractic care was started at the rate of three visits per week for the first month. After 7 weeks of care, the patient reported improvement in his symptoms with an overall decrease in his symptoms. He felt his posture had improved and he was holding his head higher, slouching less, and he found it easier to keep straight up.

Follow up testing showed improvement in all the objective tests that were performed. Neck x-rays showed a return to normal of the man’s neck curvature, demonstrating that his spinal and neural integrity had improved.

In their discussion, the authors of this study note the importance of a proper neck curvature by stating, “Improvement in cervical lordosis or restoration of the cervical curve has been associated with various outcomes in the literature. It has been suggested that restoration of normal spinal curves leads to improved health outcomes, pain reduction, increased function, and improved quality of life.”

If you or anyone you know could benefit from a better functioning nervous system, please call us at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson.


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