Managing Torticollis with Massage Therapy

Managing Torticollis with Massage Therapy

 

Torticollis is often referred to as a wry neck or twisted neck. Torticollis is characterized by involuntary muscle spasms or contractions that lead a person to carry their neck in an abnormal position. Symptoms of torticollis are neck pain, stiff neck, shoulder pain and headaches. Some babies are born with torticollis, but most often, torticollis is caused by nerve or muscle damage from whiplash or a similar injury. Torticollis can affect both children and adults. There are several treatments that can be used for muscular torticollis, but massage therapy is one of the most effective treatments for pain relief. The massage therapist will use a variety of modalities to treat torticollis including heat, massage, traction and stretching to relieve the pain. The massage therapist will slowly begin gentle stretching of the neck and then work into a gentle kneading massage. As the soft tissue in the neck becomes relaxed, the therapist will begin a more deep kneading massage. Once the neck is fully relaxed, the therapist will try to move the neck in all directions using passive movement. They will begin to stretch and hold the neck in various positions to lengthen the neck muscles. With the muscles lengthened and relaxed, the therapist will find any tender trigger points in the neck area. They will press and hold the trigger points until the muscles and soft tissue relax.The therapist will give also give ideas for treatments to do at home in between profession massage therapy sessions. These may include the application of alternating cold and hot packs to sore areas of the neck as well as at home stretching exercises.

 

 

 

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