Cervical Dystonia, also known as spasmodic torticollis, is characterized by neck muscles contracting involuntarily, causing abnormal movements and awkward posture of the head and neck. The movements may be sustained, jerky (tremor), or a combination. Spasms in the muscles can result in considerable pain and discomfort.
While medical science has not determined the exact cause of cervical dystonia, recent research has pointed towards a likely trauma-induced origin for certain cases of dystonia.1-13 Evidence supports that trauma (in particular mild concussive injury to the head, neck or upper back,) increases the risk of onset of cervical dystonia. Following the trauma, dystonia can be triggered immediately or can take months or years to develop.
The purpose of upper cervical care is to reverse the trauma-induced upper neck injury; thereby reducing irritation to the injured nerves in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). While many dystonia sufferers recall specific traumas such as head injuries, auto accidents or falls, some do not. An evaluation is necessary in each individual's case to assess whether an upper cervical injury is present and whether benefit from upper cervical care can be achieved.