ChiroACCESS Clinical Review

Acute Juvenile Cervical Torticollis: Prevention

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Lead Author(s): 

Dwain M. Daniel, D.C.


How this evidence was rated:

Strength of Recommendation Taxonomy (SORT)

Published on

April 15, 2009

Text Size:     
A common presentation of acute juvenile cervical torticollis (AJCT) in the chiropractor’s office is a young patient experiencing a painful sternocleidomastoid (SCM) spasm of short duration which usually resolves rapidly after initiation of treatment.  Cause of the spasm can be due to an atlantoaxial rotatory fixation (AARF), a potentially serious condition, or  muscular and/or ligamentous etiology (1).   Although AJCT is a condition that commonly presents in the office, information in the chiropractic and medical literature is grossly lacking.   In addition there is a great deal of confusion as to the etiology, risk factors, diagnosis and treatment.  For the purpose of this paper cervical dystonia, a poorly understood neurological condition will be excluded (2).  All prevention and risk factors noted in this monograph have been assigned a “C” strength of recommendation since all are a result of consensus, practice tradition or very limited observational studies.

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