Cervical dystonia or spasmodic torticollis is an acutely painful condition that affects the neck. People with this condition find their neck muscles will contract involuntarily, causing the head to turn and bend uncomfortably without their control. This condition affects primarily middle-aged women, but anyone can develop cervical dystonia. Unfortunately, this is a permanent condition and worsens over time. Symptoms of cervical dystonia are mild at first, then grow in severity before reaching a plateau. Treatment includes injections of neurotoxic proteins and surgery.
There are four types of cervical dystonia: torticollis, latercollis, retrocollis, and antecollis. All these conditions involve the involuntary spasming of neck muscles. These head movements are often repetitive, but may also have more abnormal rhythms. Diagnosis of cervical dystonia is generally done with a thorough medical history, blood and urine tests, EEGs, and genetic testing.
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