During a condition known as torticollis, the neck becomes extremely stiff and is twisted to one side of the face-this contortion is so strong that it cannot be straightened at all, commonly known as wryneck-torticollis is quite common in occurrence. People can be affected by this condition especially after they are exposed for a long time to cold drafts, and the condition can also develop very suddenly following a period of intense sleeping with the body placed in an awkward position.
The resolution of this condition usually occurs within several days from the time of initial onset; in addition, this form of torticollis is often very painful for the sufferer. The gradual form of torticollis in which stiffening in the neck occurs over a long period of time, and in which the condition usually persists for a very long time, is particularly much more likely to affect older individuals. Infants can also be affected by a much more permanent form of torticollis which begins to become apparent shortly after their birth. Torticollis in such cases results in a progressive shortening of the muscles in the neck muscle which is not at all apparent to the observer till several days or weeks following the day of birth. The first signs of torticollis in such infants are the noticeable swelling of only a single side of the neck. The crookedness in the bone structure of the neck may also be apparent in some much more rare cases of infantile torticollis.
Torticollis can be caused by other physical factors present in the person, if it is not initially caused during the birth of a person, torticollis in many patients comes about due to the presence of very poor circulation or impaired blood flow, this impairment in the circulatory system can often lead to the development of spasms in the muscles and they can often stiffen as a result of such spasms. The persistence of great stress and tension in the muscles can also often lead to the development of torticollis in a person. Torticollis can also come about due to the presence of some types of physical injuries. In some cases, a sudden awkward movement of the body can easily misaligns the joints along the spinal column and cause torticollis to develop due to the contortion. The presence of an existing rheumatic disorder or the presence of some sort of neurological disorder can in certain rarer cases cause the development of torticollis. The presence of high levels of the toxic metal mercury in the body can also induce torticollis in the person. The rarest form of torticollis is the form of the condition which already exists and is apparent at birth in the baby. While such cases of torticollis actually tend to run in families, it can also develop in a child born by a very long and difficult labor from the mother.
Supplements and herbs
The following supplements and herbs can be taken by all patients suffering from torticollis. It is recommended that patients be given supplements of the B complex vitamins, in combination with the two essential minerals calcium and magnesium. This supplemental regimen will aid in relaxing the spasms along the affected muscles of the neck, the ingestion of these supplements can also bring about the reduction of heightened stress levels in the person. These essential nutrients when present in the body also help in the regulation of nervous transmission and conduction of nerve impulses, in general the nutrients are required in the body as they can maintain the health of the nerves. The stiffness in the neck and the poor elasticity in the tissues can be treated by supplementing with the vitamin E on a regular basis. Among the many other types of helpful nutrient supplements include minerals like the potassium, the essential mineral zinc, some amount of the brewer's yeast and the chemical compound known as lecithin. In addition, most patients with torticollis can greatly benefit from the intake of high doses of other essential minerals like selenium, supplements of the vitamin C, the vitamin E and the organic amino acid N-acetyl-cysteine. These supplemental compounds can aid the body by eliminating the accumulated toxic heavy metals such as the heavy metal mercury, the heavy metal cadmium, the toxic metal lead, and trace toxic metals like aluminum, the poisonous metal arsenic and excess copper in the body.
If the development of torticollis in a person is caused by the presence of biochemical imbalances which exist in the body, then the use of the herbal treatments given below will be of great benefit to the affected individual.
Herbal tea made from herbs such as the chamomile, the hops, the lady's slipper herb, the leaves of the passion flower, the skullcap herb, the wood betony herb, the St. John's wort and the valerian can be taken on a regular basis, these herbal remedies can also be taken in the form of herbal capsules or as herbal tinctures. The use of these herbs will prove to be of great benefit in certain cases of torticollis.
Additional things you may do
The stiffness in the muscles of the affected neck can be greatly improved by careful and regular massage therapy; this will benefit all individuals who suffer from torticollis-notwithstanding the actual cause of the condition. Massages should include good rubs down the neck in an up and down motion, rubs along the stiff side of the neck vigorously, and then rub both of the neck using both the hands-a professional masseur will be much more helpful in the treatment process then long sessions of self massage.
- Vitamin B complex, 100 mg.
- Vitamin E, 400 IU.
- Calcium, 1,200 mg.
- Potassium, 75 mg.
- Magnesium, 600 mg.
- N-acetyl-cysteine, 250 mg.
- Zinc, 15 mg, with 3 mg of copper.