Authored by Dr Louise Newson, 03 Jul 2016

Patient is a certified member of
The Information Standard

Reviewed by:
Dr John Cox, 03 Jul 2016

Torticollis means 'twisted neck'. It is also often called 'wry neck'. 

What is it?

Torticollis - another name for having a 'twisted neck' or a 'wry neck' - often happens suddenly. You go to bed without any symptoms one night and then you simply wake up the following morning with a wry neck. This is known as acute torticollis.

It is a very common cause of neck pain and stiffness. However, although it can be very painful when you are affected by it, most people with the condition do not actually need to see their doctor, as simple treatment such as painkillers can be really effective.

How quickly does it get better?

Many people find that their symptoms really improve after a few days. It is important to seek medical advice and treatment if your symptoms persist or do not improve.  Most people who have had torticollis do not have is again in the future.

Further reading and references

Sometime last night I woke up, and when I tried to lift my head, I felt a pop in my neck. It only hurt a little bit, like when you sleep with your head in an awkward position. I went back to sleep,...

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