Cervical dystonia is a condition that causes the muscles in your neck to tighten or spasm without your control. With cervical dystonia, your head may turn in an unusual way, or it may be forced into an abnormal, uncomfortable position. This condition can be painful and challenging.1,2
It is unknown what exactly causes the muscle contractions associated with cervical dystonia. Some cases appear to be linked to head, neck, or shoulder injuries or certain drugs, such as antipsychotic or anti-nausea agents.3 More research is needed to understand the exact genetic or environmental factors that may cause or contribute to cervical dystonia.
With cervical dystonia, the head and neck positions may vary depending on which muscles are affected. These pictures show a painful tilted head or turned neck:
About 80% of patients with cervical dystonia, in a study of 201 patients, experienced a combination of the positions shown above.
Seeking help for back and neck pain can be frustrating and disheartening.
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