Wryneck occurs when the neck muscles twist beyond their usual capacity, causing the head to tilt. The condition is also known as torticollis or loxia.
Wryneck may develop over time. It can also occur after an injury to the area, or because of a reaction to medication.
A person with wryneck may find it uncomfortable or painful to put their head up straight or bend their neck to the unaffected side.
Some of the common causes include:
- injury to the neck or spine, causing the muscles to spasm
- infection of the head or neck, where inflammation causes the muscles to contract
- abscesses in the throat or upper airway
- infections of other parts of the body, such as ears, sinuses, jaw, teeth, or scalp
Other causes of wryneck in children include:
- trauma during birth
- flat head syndrome, where an infant keeps their head in the same position whenever they sleep
- inherited diseases that cause problems with the muscles and nervous system
People with wryneck may also experience:
- painful, tense neck muscles
- neck cramps or burning sensations in the neck
- an unwillingness to turn or bend their head and neck to the opposite side
- their eyes looking up without control
- their tongue sticking out without control
- jerky muscle spasms and head and neck movements