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.

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Dr Louise Newson
Peer Reviewer:
Dr John Cox
Document ID:
12556 (v5)
Last Checked:
03 July 2016
Next Review:
03 July 2019

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Patient Platform Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.