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Head leaning to one side: Chiropractor in Wellington – Keystone Chiropractic and Neuroplasticity


Chiropractor in Wellington – Keystone Chiropractic and Neuroplasticity

Read Time: [5-7 minutes]

How do I know if someone has an Atlas problem? Can a regular person see it?

Head tilting posture is something we’re used to seeing with curious puppies, but it may be a sign of a problem in the central nervous system. This can be one of the most important signs of poor neurological activity even in the absence of pain or symptoms.

Image from paper in the journal Laterality. Source: http://www3.canisius.edu/~noonan/research/researchreports/human_head_tilt.htm

Poor Head Position = Poor Interpretation of Gravity

Poor head positioning is one of the most important postural findings I look for in a Structural Chiropractic Examination. From a clinical perspective, it’s a lot more important than something like slouching. For the most part, people have the ability to recognize and correct a slouching posture when they want to. When it comes to a persistent head tilt, most people have no idea when it’s happening. It’s also a posture that is related to things like head injury, whiplash, or a balance problem.

When you have a persistent head tilt, you typically don’t know that your head is tilting because in your mind, it’s perfectly straight. This is an underlying indicator that your brain is working inefficienctly.

When you really think about it, posture is primarily your brain’s response to gravity. Whatever your body experesses as a straight posture is how your brain thinks it needs to exist in a gravitational environment. That means that a crooked head position means that the brain is getting bad input, which is leading to poor output.

What does garbage out look like to the body? Garbage out expresses itself as Secondary Conditions like:

  • Headaches
  • Facial pain
  • TMJ
  • Vertigo
  • Balance Problems
  • Syncope (Dysautonomia)

All common problems experienced after a concussion or whiplash injury.

Why Head Tilt?

So what does head tilt have to do with concussion, whiplash, and all of these Secondary Conditions?

When your head and neck is exposed to a force, it can affect one of 3 systems in the body that control and regulate your balance and posture.

  1. Visual and Ocular system
  2. Inner ear/vestibular system
  3. Neck/Spine Proprioceptive system

Together these 3 systems integrate into your brain so that your brain knows how to regulate your body in space.

Your vision and movement of your eyes make sure that your head stays level. Your ears tell your brain if your head is moving. Your joints provide information on if your limbs or your spine are moving.

This system works best when all 3 give the same information. If your eyes and muscles say one thing, but your ears say another, then it creates a problem for the brain to process.

The 3 systems that form the Balance Triad

When you take a blow to the head or neck, then these structures can become damaged and start to malfunction.  We can see this malfunction manifest as a persistent head tilt to the side.

Head tilt may not be the cause of these problems, but it is a clear and obvious sign of a breakdown in this system.

It’s easy to see how a blow to the head can affect the neck because the two structures are connected via the top bone in your neck called the Atlas. In our Wellington office, we handle this problem by re-centering the head on top of the neck again utilizing the NUCCA procedure.

When the head is centered, then it’s almost like a re-boot to the system to make the brain work normally again.

Not All Head Tilts Cause Pain

Notice that not all head tilts cause pain, but head tilt is almost always a sign of a problem in the brain. Lots of people can go through a bad car wreck and not feel any pain immediately. However, the structure of their spine and the function of the brain has changed. This means that a problem can develop over time due to chronic malfunction of the nervous system.

That’s why everyone should get checked for a Atlas Displacement after an injury even if there’s no pain or symptoms present.

Not All Head Tilts Are a Neck Problem

Not every head tilt is related to a problem in the neck, though there is almost always at least some contribution from the neck. As we discussed earlier, there are 3 main systems that dictate your sense of balance.

There are times when I have done my best effort in correcting someone’s neck that a head tilt persists. That’s why it’s important to work with a team of professionals that are capable of addressing this problem.

  • Optometrists/Vision Therapy/Neuro-opthamology – These professionals are trained in addressing the ocular system. It’s a rapidly growing field thanks to our growing knowledge of concussion and how it affects the eyes.
  • Vestibular Therapist / Functional Neurologist – Special types of chiropractors and physical therapists are trained at rehabilitating problems in the inner ear. They use special assessments and exercises to restore normal function of the inner ear.

Remember: No one therapy cures all. An interdisciplinary approach is often the best way to solve many of these complex cases.



What Parents Should Know About Signs & Treatment

Symptoms of Infant Torticollis

When your baby has torticollis, they were probably born with it (congenital torticollis). If that’s the case, it’s usually due to the way your baby was positioned in utero. In some cases, infants develop torticollis after birth (acquired torticollis, which is normally caused by some kind of trauma or infection), but most cases can be traced back to birth. Understanding the symptoms of torticollis, congenital or acquired, will help you understand how to help your baby.

Congenital torticollis

Although your baby may have been born with torticollis, you may not notice any signs or symptoms until your baby’s between 6-8 weeks old. Around this age most infants begin to gain more control over their head and neck. At this point you may begin to notice the following symptoms:

  • Head tilts or rotates to one side
  • Limited range of motion in head and neck
  • Asymmetry in your baby’s head and face (flattening on one side of the head)
  • Breastfed babies may prefer one side over the other
  • Musculoskeletal problems may be present (hip dysplasia)
  • A small, soft lump in your infant’s neck
  • The most commonly noticed symptom is plagiocephaly, or a flat spot appearing behind one ear and on the side the child likes to look toward

Acquired torticollis

Symptoms of acquired torticollis are:

  • Head tilts to one side
  • Limited range of motion in the head and neck
  • Recurrent episodes of head tilting. During these episodes, your child may also experience drowsiness, irritability, or vomiting

Causes of Torticollis

Infant torticollis happens when the muscles that connect the breastbone and collarbone to the skull (sternocleidomastoid muscle) are shortened. Because your baby’s neck muscle is shortened on one side of the neck, it pulls their head into a tilt or rotation, and often both. Often this muscle is shortened or tightened by abnormal fetal positions, injury during birth, abnormalities or bone problems in the neck portion of the spine, and in rare cases by inherited diseases that can cause damage to the nervous system or muscles.

Treatment for Infant Torticollis

The best way to treat torticollis is to encourage your baby to turn his or her head in both directions. This helps loosen tense neck muscles and tighten the loose ones. Rest assured that babies won’t likely hurt themselves by turning their heads on their own.

Torticollis exercises

Laying your baby on the stomach for brief periods while awake (known as “tummy time”) is an important exercise because it helps strengthen neck and shoulder muscles and prepares your baby for crawling.

This exercise is especially useful for a baby with torticollis and a flat head — and can actually help treat both problems at once. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Lay your baby on your lap or chest for tummy time
  2. Position your baby so his or her head is turned away from you
  3. Then talk or sing to your baby and encourage him or her to turn and face you
  4. Practice this exercise for 10 to 15 minutes several times a day

  5. Once your baby lays their head down for 10-15 seconds, they’re tired and need a rest.

Stretching exercises to treat torticollis are most likely to work well if they start when a baby is between 2 to 6 months of age. If you find your baby’s torticollis isn’t improving with stretching, talk to your doctor or physical therapist.

In addition to tummy time, do what you can to encourage your baby to move to their affected side. For example, if your infant normally turns his head to the left, stand to his right when you’re changing him. Do the same when you place him in his crib. For breastfeeding mothers, encourage your baby to feed from the side he doesn’t normally enjoy. All of these movements can strengthen your baby’s neck.

Here are some other exercises to try:

  • When your baby wants to eat, offer the bottle or your breast in a way that encourages your baby to turn away from the favored side. (Use your child’s desire to eat to encourage him or her along!)
  • When putting your baby down to sleep, position him or her to face the wall while facing the direction they like to look. Since babies prefer to look out into the room, your baby will actively turn away from the wall, which will stretch the tightened muscles of the neck. Remember to always put your baby to sleep on his or her back, which reduces the risk of SIDS
  • During play, draw your baby’s attention with toys and sounds to make him or her turn in both directions

Physical therapy for infant torticollis

In certain cases, the doctor may suggest taking a baby to a physical therapist for more intensive treatment. After treatment has started, the therapist may examine your baby every 2 to 4 weeks to see how treatment is going. At these follow-up visits, the physical therapist will measure how many degrees the baby can turn their head, then help strengthen the muscles in their neck so they can increase range of motion. They will also track any head shape issues and make recommendations about how to decrease any flatness that may be present. Some children will require a helmet, but most will not.

Surgical options

When physical therapy and home exercises don’t correct your child’s head tilt, surgery may be required. Thankfully, this happens only rarely with babies who have persistent torticollis that doesn’t respond to conservative treatment. Very few children with congenital torticollis will require surgery. The surgery lengthens the sternocleidomastoid muscle and corrects the torticollis. Typically, your doctor will wait until your child reaches preschool years before recommending surgery.

When to see your doctor

Make an appointment with your doctor if your baby’s treatment for torticollis doesn’t seem to be helping, or if they develop new symptoms. Additionally, if your child’s torticollis develops after an injury or illness, see you doctor right away.

Is Your Head Completely Tilted to One Side? How Can This Affect Wellbeing?

Imbalance is a situation that can lead to one shoulder being higher than the other. Have you ever wondered why your head is tilted to one side?  Have you been told that you have one leg shorter than the other?  Do you have chronic muscle spasm at the top of your shoulders?

These things can certainly be cause for worry. Finding relief can be as stressful as the actual condition. The good thing is that there is a natural way to correct this. You might not have considered this but medical professionals like upper cervical chiropractors can help resolve imbalance issues. Find out how by reading this article.

An Overview

A misaligned body is an adverse body position that can cause stress, tension and pressure to the entire nervous system. The brain stem (base of the brain) is the part that is especially affected. This is very important, because our body shuttles millions of electrical and chemical impulses back and forth from the brain to every cell of our body each day.

Any restriction or distortion of those messages (nerve impulses) can affect every body function. Many of these nerve messages are unconscious such as breathing, digestion, and circulation.

If a spinal misalignment is not corrected, the long term effect of an imbalance is degeneration, which can be alarming. That part of the body serviced by those restricted messages can activate pain signals resulting in mild to severe pain, lowered resistance to illness, behavioral changes, organ dysfunction, loss of mobility in limbs, and ultimately – disease.

The sooner someone with a misalignment issue seeks professional care probably from a chiropractic professional, the higher the likelihood that the degenerative impact will stop.

Resolving Imbalance Issues

So basically, to live life at a level of true Wellness  your nerve system needs to be communicating the messages from your brain to your body at a 100%. Freeing the pathways of any issues is essential.

At Besso Clinic of Chiropractic, we see patients with everything from carpal tunnel syndrome, child development problems, child sensory disorders, chronic facial pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic infections, circulation problems, to constipation … and that’s just the C’s.  It may seem like the list of conditions which have responded to upper cervical care is endless.

However, if you understand that the nervous system controls everything in the body, then it’s not hard to understand that it could be possible for a condition, like an Atlas Subluxation, to be the root cause of health problems.  It can also be the root cause of your tilted head, unlevel shoulders, and tight spastic muscles.

Oh, I just realized I dropped the S word, subluxation, and  you may be wondering what a subluxation is.  An atlas subluxation is a fancy word for an imbalance due to a misalignment of the top bone in your spine.  This is what upper cervical doctors detect and correct.

By restoring alignment using gentle, precise techniques, we can correct issues leading to imbalance. When this happens, a realigned body no longer causes stress to and tension to the nervous systems. Critical body functions resume which leads to an improved quality of life.

Our team at Besso Clinic of Chiropractic will also help you lessen the risks of future misalignment issues. Daily activities pose certain risks but there are ways you can lessen them. This way, you no longer have to worry about tilted heads or uneven shoulders.

Visit the resources tab above and watch the 3 minute video, ‘What is a Subluxation?’.  You can also find a 4 minute video titled ‘What is Body Imbalance?’ by clicking on the link above.

Make your comments or ask your questions by filling out the box below.

Abnormal Head Position – American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus

Print Version

What is an abnormal head posture?

An abnormal (or anomalous or compensatory) head posture occurs when the head is deviated out of the normal primary straight head position. Abnormal head positions can include chin up, chin down, tilting of the head to the right or left, face turns to the right or left, or a combination of any of these abnormal head positions. The abnormal position of the head can be due to an ocular or a non-ocular problem.

What are some of the ocular causes of an abnormal head position?

1) Eye misalignment: Sometimes when a person has a crossed eye, the amount of eye misalignment varies with different gaze positions. The person will typically place his or her head in a position where the eyes are best aligned. This will help to eliminate double vision and/or relieve eye strain.

For example, if a superior oblique muscle is weak (such as in a fourth nerve palsy) a person will tilt the head away from the affected eye because the eyes are most straight in this position. Similarly, a sixth nerve palsy results in a weakened lateral rectus muscle and a face turn toward the affected eye. Sometimes the eyes are straighter in up or down gaze and a person will tilt the head up or down depending on where the eyes are best aligned. Other causes of abnormal head posture from strabismus include Duane’s syndrome, Brown’s syndrome, orbital wall fractures, and restricted eye movement associated with thyroid eye disease.

2) Nystagmus: Some patients with nystagmus (jerky eye movements) will acquire a head turn or tilt if the nystagmus slows down with a certain head position. The head position where the nystagmus is slowest, or even stopped, is called the null point. Decreased nystagmus allows for better vision.

3) Difference in vision between the eyes: Sometimes a child will turn the head to place an eye with better vision closer to the target.

4) Ptosis: A child with ptosis (or a droopy eyelid) will usually elevate the chin to help the eye or eyes see “beneath” the droopy eyelid.

5) Refractive errors: At times a child may turn their head to the side if they have a significant need for glasses, particularly astigmatism. It is thought that the head turn allows the patient to see better since they are looking through the narrowed opening of the eyelids, which may simulate a “squinting” mechanism.

Can my child see when the head is in an abnormal position?

Yes, most children adopt a head posture to improve their vision if the head turn is from an ocular cause. Therefore, in general, it is important to not discourage the abnormal head posture in these children until the problem can be fixed.

Can a longstanding head turn lead to any permanent problems?

Yes, a significant abnormal head posture could cause permanent tightening of neck muscles that can lead to chronic neck ache or headache. An abnormal head posture may also cause the facial bones to grow abnormally leading to facial asymmetry.

What are some of the non-ocular causes of an abnormal head position?

Congenital shortening of the neck muscles (sternocleidomastoid) can cause a head tilt. This is typically called congenital torticollis. A patch test in the office can confirm this diagnosis. If the head tilt is due to tight neck muscles, then the tilt will remain the same with the patch on. If the head tilt is from an ocular cause such as strabismus, then the tilt should get better when the patch is on.

Other non-ocular causes of an abnormal head position include cerebral palsy, bony abnormalities, occipitocervical synostosis and unilateral hearing loss.

Are there any treatments for abnormal head postures?

Yes.  Abnormal head postures can usually be improved. Surgical procedures are available for treatment of head postures related to strabismus, nystagmus and ptosis. Glasses for refractive errors and patching therapy for an eye with weaker vision (amblyopia) are other potential treatment.

Physical therapy often helps congenital torticollis from tight neck muscles.

Updated 04/2021


6 Signs Your Child May Have Torticollis: Little Wonders Pediatric Therapy: Occupational Therapists

If you’re a parent, the health of your child is the most important thing in your life. You want to see your baby grow into a well-functioning adult. Some babies get a condition called torticollis, which results in the head turning slightly to the side. It’s important to get early treatment for torticollis for two reasons: (1) so that it doesn’t become a stubborn condition that’s harder to treat in the future, and (2) to rule out torticollis occurring with another medical issue. 

Weeks after you take your bundle of joy home from the hospital, you might start noticing a head tilt. In infants, torticollis can appear at birth, which is called congenital muscular torticollis, or during the first few months, when it’s called acquired torticollis. 

Experts aren’t sure of all of the causes of torticollis, but two of the most common are placement in the womb and/or method of delivery. Your baby’s head may be in an abnormal position inside the womb — for example, a breech position. Forceps or a vacuum device used during birth may cause torticollis. 

A rope-like muscle runs down both sides of the neck, from the ears to the collarbone. The conditions cited above may put too much pressure on one side of your baby’s neck. The excess pressure can cause the muscle to tighten and become shorter than the muscle on the other side of the neck. 

Infection and trauma are other causes of torticollis in infants and children, but these are not as common. Acquired torticollis in children may accompany other diagnoses such as misalignment of the cervical vertebrae (atlantoaxial subluxation), a bone growth disorder called Klippel-Feil syndrome, or vision problems (ocular torticollis), which are good reasons why it’s important to diagnose this condition promptly. 

Whatever the cause, Little Wonders Pediatric Therapy, in Charlotte, North Carolina, provides outstanding occupational and speech therapy to children from infancy through 12 years old. Once our licensed pediatric occupational therapists perform a thorough assessment, they develop a comprehensive treatment plan to help your child achieve their potential. They are experienced in treating torticollis in infants and children; the therapy helps restore your child’s range of motion, functioning, and continued acquisition of motor milestones.  

Signs of torticollis

The following are common signs of torticollis. Early treatment ensures the best results. 

Head tilt in one direction

One of the most important parental activities is bonding with your baby. Looking in your baby’s eyes is important for bonding and attachment. Is your baby’s head turned slightly to the side so that he’s not looking at you straight on? This is a symptom of torticollis and one you must get checked out and treated. You may also notice your baby prefers to look only in one direction, even when it may be less stimulating (i.e. towards the wall in their crib), due to the tightness caused by torticollis. 

Trouble moving head toward you 

When you try to get your baby to look at you, does he have trouble moving his head to turn toward you? Does he get fussy if he has to move his head? This is a possible indication of torticollis.

Trouble feeding from both breasts

If your baby prefers to feed from only one breast, it may be because he has to strain his neck to reach the other one. Of course, he doesn’t have language to express his discomfort. 

Flat skull in one area 

Does your baby’s head look flat on one side? Your infant can develop this condition, called  plagiocephaly, simply from sleeping on one side. The reason your infant prefers to sleep on only one side may be because he doesn’t have full range of motion in his neck due to torticollis. 

Lump in the neck

Does your baby have a small lump on one side of his neck? The muscle may be constricted and form a knot. You’ll see it dissipate when your baby receives occupational therapy. Please refrain from palpating or massaging the area, but you can let your therapist or position know. 

Trouble turning head side to side or up and down

If your baby doesn’t bend his neck to look up or down or resists moving his head side to side when presented with stimuli, this could be a symptom of torticollis. Most commonly, babies with torticollis tend to always prefer a single side when placed on their back to sleep, even if they are observed to look to both sides when away.  

The good news is that torticollis is treatable; call Little Wonders Pediatric Therapy today for an appointment. 

Torticollis | Boston Children’s Hospital

What is torticollis?

Unlike many health conditions that develop silently inside the body, torticollis is easy to see from the outside. You can recognize it when your child’s head persistently tilts to one side.

The word “torticollis” itself comes from two Latin root words, “tortus” and “collum,” that together mean “twisted neck.” This condition, sometimes called wryneck, is relatively common in children.

In general, torticollis is classified as either congenital (present at birth) or acquired (occurring later in infancy or childhood). By far the most common type is congenital muscular torticollis. Although children have this when they are born, parents may not notice it until children are several weeks old, as they start to gain more control of their head movement.

  • Congenital muscular torticollis responds very well to physical therapy, especially when it’s started early. Sometimes it is associated with plagiocephaly, a common and treatable condition in which there is asymmetry in the shape of the head and face. This happens because the forces of gravity pull unevenly on a baby’s tilted head, causing a flattened appearance on one side of the skull or face.
  • Acquired torticollis typically occurs in the first four to six months of childhood or later. It may come on quickly or slowly. In contrast to congenital muscular torticollis, there is usually no facial asymmetry with acquired torticollis.
  • Acquired torticollis can be benign (not serious) or a sign of more serious health issues. Because the causes can be so different, it is very important to act quickly so that your child can get the proper care and treatment.

Note: Pediatric torticollis is different from another condition, called spasmodic torticollis, that affects adults.

What are the symptoms of torticollis?

Congenital muscular torticollis

  • The child has a limited range of motion in the head and neck.
  • The head tilts to one side while the chin tilts to the other.
  • A small, pea-sized lump (or “pseudo tumor”) is sometimes found on the sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle.
  • Asymmetries of the head and face, indicating plagiocephaly, may also be present.
  • Musculoskeletal problems, such as hip dysplasia, are sometimes present.

Acquired torticollis

  • There is limited range of motion in the head and neck.
  • The head tilts to one side while the chin tilts to the other.
  • With a condition called benign paroxysmal torticollis, there may be recurrent episodes, or “attacks,” of head tilting; often these attacks are accompanied by other symptoms, such as vomiting, irritability, and/or drowsiness.
  • Additional symptoms vary according to the cause of the torticollis.

Note: Children who develop torticollis that is associated with neck pain after trauma (even minor trauma) should be evaluated right away to make sure they do not have any subluxation of the C1 or C2 vertebrae. In addition, children who develop painful torticollis at the same time as a fever that is caused by an infection in the pharynx (cavity behind the nose, mouth, and larynx) or retropharyngeal space (the area behind the pharynx) need to see a doctor immediately. If left untreated, these complications can lead to a rare disorder called Grisel’s syndrome.

What are the causes of torticollis?

Because there are different types of torticollis, it is important to know the root cause so that your child can get the proper care and treatment as quickly as possible.

Congenital muscular torticollis

For children with congenital muscular torticollis, the most common form of pediatric torticollis, the SCM muscle becomes shortened and contracted. The SCM muscle runs along each side of the neck and controls how the head moves — side to side, and up and down.

There are a few common reasons why the SCM muscle may have become contracted and cause your child’s head to tilt to one side:

  • the way your baby was positioned in the womb before birth
  • abnormal development of the SCM muscle
  • trauma or damage to the muscle during birth

In far less common cases, congenital muscular torticollis may occur as a symptom of other underlying conditions, including:

  • congenital bony abnormalities of the upper cervical spine, with subluxation (abnormal rotation) of the C1 vertebrae over the C2 vertebrae in the cervical spine (the part of the spine that encompasses the neck).
  • congenital bony abnormalities of the upper cervical spine, which are most often associated with other congenital skeletal anomalies
  • shortened neck
  • short limbs (arms and legs)
  • dwarfism
  • congenital webs of skin running along the side of the neck
  • Klippel-Feil syndrome, a rare birth defect that causes some of the neck vertebrae to fuse together
  • achondroplasia, a bone growth disorder
  • multiple epiphyseal dysplasia, a disease that affects the development of bone and cartilage in the long bones of the arms and legs
  • Morquio syndrome, an inherited metabolic disorder that prevents the body from breaking down sugar molecules

Acquired torticollis

For children who have acquired torticollis, the causes vary widely and range in severity from benign (not serious) to very serious. Some causes of acquired torticollis include:

  • a mild (usually viral) infection
  • minor trauma to the head and neck
  • gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
  • respiratory and soft-tissue infections of the neck
  • abnormalities in the cervical spine (such as atlantoaxial subluxation)
  • vision problems (called ocular torticollis)
  • abnormal reaction to certain medications (called a dystonic reaction)
  • spasmus nutans (a usually benign condition that causes head bobbing along with uncontrolled eye movements)
  • Sandifer syndrome (a rare condition combining gastroesophageal reflux with spasms in the neck)

How we care for torticollis

At Boston Children’s Hospital, we are dedicated to acting quickly to find out the root cause of torticollis and coming up with a treatment approach that’s customized for your child. In most cases, our clinicians deal with congenital muscular torticollis. We’ve found that most children with this type of torticollis respond very well to physical therapy programs, usually within a matter of months. Our dedicated team of physical therapists will provide an exercise plan that actively involves you in your child’s care.

We’ll also provide treatment plans designed for children who do not respond to physical therapy. Our orthopedic, neurosurgical, and plastic surgery experts work closely together to develop a customized treatment approach that meets all of your child’s health needs.

Frequently asked questions

How long will it take before we see an improvement in our son’s congenital muscular torticollis?

In general, the majority of children with congenital muscular torticollis show improvement after a few months of physical therapy, especially when it is started early. Every child is different, so be sure to discuss any concerns you may have with your son’s doctor and physical therapist. Your son may need a referral to a specialist if he has no or limited improvement after physical therapy.

Does congenital muscular torticollis affect some infants more than others?

It may affect firstborn children and twins more often because there is a greater chance of too little space, or “crowding,” in the uterus and birth canal. This can cause damage or constriction to the SCM muscle. It may also happen after a difficult birth, especially when babies are very large or have a breech delivery.

Bunnies With Head Tilts Can Live Happily Ever After

The owner of Ginny the rabbit was alarmed to find that her once-healthy bunny had developed a striking head tilt.

The condition, known as torticollis, makes the neck twist, causing a bunny’s head to tilt dramatically to one side. It has many causes, including ear infections, strokes, brain tumors, and other forms of head trauma.

In Ginny’s case, however, her head was tilting because of a parasite—Encephalitozoon cuniculi.

Ginny was likely born with the protozoa in her bloodstream. It is common for pet bunnies to be infected by the microorganism, though it wasn’t recognized as a disease-causing parasite until recently. Lack of understanding of the disease may have been spurred by the fact that the intricacies of rabbits in general are not very well known to much of the public. Partly as a result of that, rabbits are the third most abandoned pet in the United States.

The parasite can be transmitted from a mother bunny to her babies before they are born, or a bunny can contract it by eating contaminated food or drinking water with the parasite in it. Once the parasite enters the bloodstream, it travels throughout the body of the bunny, mostly gathering in its neural pathways. In many cases, it can remain dormant. It is unclear if the parasite itself causes neural damage that leads to the head tilt while it is replicating, or if the bunny’s immune system does damage to the neural pathways while trying to fight the parasite. Severe cases can quickly become fatal.

Ginny’s owner, Caroline Rohwedder, who lives in Austin, Texas, said her pet appeared to be perfectly healthy in 2012 when she adopted the bunny, who was three years old at the time. But in 2013, that suddenly changed.

“I woke up one morning and her head was sideways,” Rohwedder told Caters News.

Rohwedder says Ginny received the best medical care possible, and she can now run and jump like any other rabbit. Ginny has seemingly learned to compensate for her new perspective of the world and her life with a tilted head is happy and healthy, says Rohwedder. Ginny even has an Instagram account documenting her adventures, with over 45,000 followers.

Dana Krempels, a senior lecturer and the director of undergraduate studies for the University of Miami’s biology department, has specialized in house rabbits for over 30 years. She says the head tilt can be reversible, depending on how fast it’s addressed and what the underlying cause is.

“Sometimes if you treat an acute case very quickly, it can resolve,” she says. “More commonly, it’s a chronic infection. Sometimes there’s a tilt that’s left over forever.”

RELATED VIDEO: In this clip from NGWild’s Dr. K’s Exotic Animal ER meet Koji, a rabbitt afflicted with a permanent head tilt.

Treatment for a head tilt can go on for weeks, and a blood test is the only way to know for sure if a parasite is causing the issue, Krempels says. There are drugs that can fight off the parasite, like benzamidazole, which is given once a day for a month.

If the cause of the tilting is a parasite, then the bunny may make a full recovery from the infection. But it could still end up with a permanent head tilt. In fact, the condition is more likely to be permanent from a parasite infection than from another underlying cause.

Rohwedder told Caters News that many people have suggested Ginny should be euthanized.

“It’s terrible because they are basing that on her looks, because they think she looks ‘broken’,” she says.

But the video suggests what Rohwedder insists—that Ginny is a happy, healthy bunny who loves treats and snuggling.

Krempels agrees that rabbits with tilted heads can live fulfilling lives.

“Once the underlying cause has been addressed and [is] under control, the bunny can be quite happy,” she says. “It’s not a cause for euthanasia.”

Diagnosis and treatment of torticollis | Clinic of the Spine of Dr. Razumovsky

Torticollis is a congenital or acquired pathology in which a curvature of the neck develops at the same time and an irregular tilt of the head is formed with a turn in the opposite direction. According to statistics, the disease often occurs in boys and with a turn of the neck to the right side. Treatment of torticollis is usually conservative.

Types of torticollis

torticollis is divided into congenital and acquired.Congenital is a variant of intrauterine growth disorder.

Among the variants of congenital torticollis, the following are distinguished:

  • Idiopathic – a slight, unfixed tilt of the head. It develops as a result of an abnormal position of the fetus, an abnormal structure of the pelvis, infectious diseases of the birth canal.
  • Myogenic – the result of compaction and shortening of the sternocleidomastoid muscle. The most common form. Maybe early and late. The early one develops immediately after birth, the late one – at the 4th week of life.The reasons are considered transverse or breech presentation of the fetus, in which the fetal head is tilted to the shoulder for a long time. On examination, the head of the newborn is tilted towards the injured muscles and turned in the opposite direction. Palpation reveals a uniform or local seal of an oval (round) shape in the area of ​​the affected muscle.
  • Osteogenic (Klippel-Feil disease) – develops with congenital pathology of the cervical vertebrae. Variants of pathology can be a decrease in the vertebral bodies (one or more), their fusion with each other, a change in shape.On examination, the neck is shortened and deformed, the head is drawn into the shoulders, often turned to the side. Neck mobility is limited. The hairline is reduced.
  • Neurogenic – a consequence of dystonic syndrome, a phenomenon in which muscle tone in one of the halves of the body is increased, and in the other – decreased. With this pathology, similar changes are observed in the area of ​​the trunk and limbs. The leg and arm on the affected side are in increased tone, bent at the knee and elbow, the palm is clenched into a fist. The torso is curved.
  • Arthrogenic – a consequence of congenital subluxation of 1 cervical vertebra.

Acquired torticollis may result from abnormal labor or other types of neck muscle injury.

Acquired torticollis are divided into the following types:

  • Installation – develops as a result of an incorrect position of the baby’s body in the crib. At the same time, there are no pathological disorders in the organs and tissues of the neck.
  • Compensatory and reflex – the result of reflex curvature of the neck due to pechondritis, inflammation of the mastoid process, otitis media.To relieve pain, the child tilts his head to the side.
  • Traumatic osteoarticular – an acute condition that occurs after a fracture of the 1st cervical vertebra.
  • Non-traumatic osteoarticular – manifests itself in osteomyelitis, tertiary syphilis, bone tuberculosis. The reason is a pathological fracture or melting of the cervical vertebrae


Regardless of the type and cause of the pathology, the main symptoms are: asymmetry of the face and neck, the shoulder on the side of the lesion is higher than the opposite side.Signs of curvature of the spine may appear.

The sternocleidomastoid muscle is shortened and pulls the clavicle and mastoid process, which leads to their deformation. The upper and lower jaws also develop incorrectly.


The diagnosis of torticollis in children is established by an orthopedic traumatologist, but parents often independently notice a violation of the symmetry of the neck and head position. Congenital torticollis as a diagnosis is established in the hospital.

If, already in adulthood, parents notice a curvature of the spine, asymmetry of the shoulders, curvature of the face or neck in a child, an urgent need to consult a doctor.


The duration and method of treatment directly depends on the degree of muscle shortening and the timing of the start of treatment.

It is necessary to start treating torticollis immediately after diagnosis.

Conservative treatment is used when torticollis is not associated with a violation of the integrity or deformation of the cervical vertebrae.

Newborns and children under one year of age receive:

  • Special gymnastic exercises to strengthen and stretch the pathologically altered muscle.
  • Massage of the cervicothoracic region.
  • Warming up the cervicothoracic region.
  • Use of a special collar to keep the head straight.

If the above methods of treatment did not lead to a result, and this problem reached the age of 2 years, plaster neck collars begin to be used

Starting from 1.5 months, physiotherapy with potassium iodide is used, which dissolve the seals of the affected muscle

To surgery in case of illness, they apply in case of unsuccessful conservative therapy or in the presence of a violation of the cervical vertebrae.

The prognosis in many cases is favorable, severe and disabling consequences can be avoided, but it all depends on the cause and the chosen method of treatment, as well as on the timeliness of the initiation of therapy.

Spastic torticollis – treatment, symptoms, causes, diagnosis

Cervical dystonia, also called spastic torticollis, is a pathological painful condition in which the muscles of the neck involuntarily contract, causing the head to rotate or turn to the side.Cervical dystonia can also cause the head to tilt forward or backward uncontrollably.

Cervical dystonia is a fairly rare disease that can develop at any age, even in infancy, but most often occurs in middle-aged people, more in women than in men. Symptoms tend to develop gradually and then peak when they are most pronounced.

Unfortunately, there are no methods of treatment to completely get rid of this disease.The disease sometimes goes away without treatment, but stable remissions are rare. Botulinum toxin injections into affected muscles often reduce symptoms of spastic torticollis. In some cases, surgical treatment can be effective.


Muscle contractions, with cervical dystonia, can lead to head rotation in various directions, including:

  • Chin tilted to shoulder
  • Ear to shoulder
  • Chin lifts up
  • The chin goes straight down

The most common type of curl in cervical dystonia occurs when the chin is pulled to the shoulder.Some people have a combination of incorrect head postures. There may also be head jerking movements.

Most patients with cervical dystonia may also experience neck pain, which may radiate to the shoulder. The disease can also cause headaches. In some patients with spastic torticollis, the pain can be intense and debilitating.


In most cases, doctors cannot figure out why some people develop cervical dystonia, while others do not. In some cases, however, the development of spastic torticollis is associated with head, neck or shoulder injuries. Certain medications, such as certain psychotropic or antiemetic drugs, can cause cervical dystonia in some people.

Risk factors

Risk factors for cervical dystonia include:

  • Age. While the disease can develop in people of any age, even in children, it most often begins between the ages of 40 and 70.
  • Paul. Women are more likely to develop spastic torticollis than men.
  • Family history. If a close family member has cervical dystonia or some other type of dystonia, then the patient has a higher risk of developing the disease.
  • Complications: Some people who first develop cervical dystonia later develop similar symptoms in neighboring regions such as the shoulder or face. In addition, disability and pain that can be caused by cervical dystonia can lead to depression.


The diagnosis of cervical dystonia (spastic torticollis) is made on the basis of the characteristic symptoms of the examination data and the results of instrumental studies.

Physicians may be interested in answers to the following questions:

  • When did the symptoms start?
  • Has your symptoms worsened over time?
  • What relieves symptoms?
  • What medications does the patient take?
  • Have you had a stroke or head injury in the past?

Physical examination and medical history help to provide a preliminary diagnosis of cervical dystonia.But for an accurate diagnosis, it is necessary to exclude other conditions in which there may be similar symptoms and to use additional research methods. Tests may include:

  • Blood or urine tests. They can reveal the presence of intoxication.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This type of medical imaging can be used to identify and visualize tumors or diagnose a stroke.
  • Electromyography (EMG). This diagnostic method allows the conduction of electrical impulses in the muscles.EMG helps to assess and diagnose conduction abnormalities in nerves and muscles and helps to confirm the presence of cervical dystonia or other disease.


Spasmodic torticollis cannot be cured. In some patients, symptoms may go away without treatment, but symptoms often recur. Treatment focuses on reducing symptoms.

Drug treatment

Patients with spastic torticollis often need a combination of drugs to reduce the intensity of symptoms.

  • Botulinum toxin. This drug, which is often used to smooth out wrinkles on the face, can be injected directly into the muscles in the neck, which are involved in cervical dystonia. Botulinum toxin is found in medicines such as Botox, Dysport, Xeomin and Myoblock. In most patients with cervical dystonia, after using the toxin, there is a significant improvement, but the effect does not last long and the toxin injections have to be repeated every 3-4 months.
  • Drugs for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Medicines used to combat tremors associated with Parkinson’s disease can be used in combination with botulinum toxin injections. Common side effects of these drugs include dry mouth, constipation, memory problems, urinary problems, or visual disturbances.
  • Muscle relaxants. These drugs are often not very effective and have side effects, most notably sedation, impaired motor coordination, and mild cognitive impairment.These are drugs such as diazepam (Valium, Diastat), lorazepam (Ativan), clonazepam (Klonopin) and baclofen (Lioresal, Gablofen).
  • Painkillers. Pain in cervical dystonia can be intense and may require the use of over-the-counter and prescription analgesics.
  • exercise therapy. A carefully selected exercise program can improve neck flexibility and reduce muscle spasm.

In cases where conservative methods (including the use of botulinum toxin) do not give an effect, then surgical methods of treatment can be applied.

  • Muscle or nerve dissection may be performed. Selective denervation is not very common.
  • Deep brain stimulation (DBS). In this surgical procedure, a thin electrode is inserted into the brain. The tip of the electrode is placed in the part of the brain that controls movement. Electrical impulses are sent down the wire to interrupt signals from nerve cells that cause the head to turn. HCM is used only in the most difficult cervical dystonia.


Cervical dystonia is an incurable disease, but following certain recommendations you can minimize the consequences of this disease:

  • Reduce stress. Situations that lead to the development of stress or anxiety should be avoided.
  • Adequate sleep and rest. Symptoms often resolve during sleep, so getting enough rest is important. Even short breaks during the working day, during which you need to lie on your back and relax, can significantly improve your well-being.
  • Use of heat. Heat packs can help loosen tight neck muscles and relieve pain.

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90,000 torticollis.Causes of torticollis

Causes of occurrence

Congenital torticollis form is formed for the following reasons:

  • muscle development abnormalities;
  • deformity of the cervical vertebrae;
  • pterygoid neck;
  • additional “neck” ribs;
  • 90,013 chromosomal mutations;

  • genetic abnormalities in the fetus.

Acquired torticollis is diagnosed after birth. Contributing factors can be:

  • complicated childbirth with entanglement of the umbilical cord;
  • birth injury to the neck;
  • infectious processes;
  • neurological disorders;
  • abnormal presentation of the fetus;
  • at an older age – injuries of the cervical spine.

There are cases when the disease develops by a compensatory mechanism after dislocations and fractures with an uneven load on the neck muscles.


3-4 weeks after birth, a spindle-shaped dense thickening appears on the lateral surface of the neck of the baby, which is a local swelling of the muscle (often with an internal hematoma obtained during childbirth).

Additionally, the following signs are noted:

  • non-physiological head position;
  • limitation of neck mobility;
  • asymmetry of the face with underdevelopment on one side;
  • flattening of the head from the affected side;
  • limitation of peripheral vision;
  • Uneven development of the jaws;
  • elevated position of the clavicle and scapula on the affected side;
  • scoliosis of the cervical and thoracic spine.

With bilateral muscle cranky, the head is thrown back or tilted forward, the range of neck movements is sharply limited.


The diagnosis of congenital torticollis is confirmed after examination, analysis of anamnestic data and X-ray of the cervical spine. To assess the condition of soft tissues, magnetic resonance imaging (abbreviated MRI) is prescribed, and a consultation with a neurologist is also indicated.

If you suspect acquired torticollis, an x-ray of the cervical vertebrae and consultations of narrow specialists are prescribed, depending on the alleged genesis of the disorders.

Forecast and treatment

If torticollis is detected immediately after birth, it is possible to eliminate the pathology by the age of one year of the child. Conservative treatment includes special massage, water treatments, physiotherapy, exercise therapy, reflexology, electrophoresis with medicinal substances. The operation is indicated if the measures taken did not have the expected effect.

With competent, timely therapy, the chances of a successful cure are quite high. It is important to see a doctor in the first weeks of a baby’s life in order to avoid the progression of disorders and to prevent the development of deformities of the head and chest.

90,000 8 simple exercises for neck pain

The cause of such pain is high and prolonged loads or, more likely, physical inactivity and improper posture. Until the root cause is eliminated, neck pain will always accompany you.

They will not only prevent you from enjoying life, but can also lead to a huge number of diseases – from migraines and herniated intervertebral discs to deafness.

In the first case, when the neck muscles are overstrained, the best option to relieve pain is stretching and relaxation exercises.

Before stretching, you definitely need a little warm-up to warm up the muscles and do joint exercises for the cervical spine.

This requires simple exercises: tilting the head to the right and left, back and forth, turning the head to the right and left, rotating the head to the right and left, all 10-20 times.

Exercise in an amplitude that does not cause you severe discomfort. Perform all exercises smoothly, without sudden movements. For those who spend most of their time in a forced position, for example, sitting at a computer, it is advisable to repeat this warm-up at least every 2 hours.

Stretching the neck in an incline to the right and left. Sit upright in the lotus position, on a chair or on a fitball, as long as it is easy for you to keep your back upright. Tilt your head to the side until a tension is felt in your neck muscles, where you can relax. If there is insufficient tension, place your hand on your head, towards which the head is tilted.


Pull your opposite hand toward the floor to tighten the muscles, and pull for 10 seconds to 1 minute.While stretching, you do not need to apply force, the maximum you need is the weight of your relaxed arm. Repeat the exercise 5-10 times in each direction.

Stretch the neck forward. In this case, you do not need to sit straight, on the contrary, it will be better if you slouch, thereby stretching not only the muscles of the cervical, but also part of the thoracic region.

In this case, it is worth putting two hands on your head at once to maintain symmetry. The time and number of repetitions are the same as in the previous exercise.


Tilting the head back or lying with the head thrown back. Many people believe that throwing the head back is harmful due to the fact that the vertebral arteries involved in the blood supply to the brain stem and cerebellum are pinched. Therefore, with a sharp tilt of the head back, you can lose consciousness, but no one forces you to do these movements abruptly.

Make slow tilts of the head back, without holding the head in this position for more than 5-7 seconds.


As for the prone position with your head thrown back, in this case, I advise you to put a towel roll or massage roller under your neck and turn your head to the right and left 10-20 times, flexing the neck muscles.

Stretching the spine while sitting with your back to the wall. Sit on a chair with your back to the wall and try to reach the top of your head “to the stars”, relax. Repeat 10-15 times.


If the neck muscles are not sufficiently toned due to low physical activity, the following set of exercises is suitable for you:
Warm up , the same exercises as in the first set.

Slopes left and right with resistance. For this you need a soft ball a little smaller than your head. Press the ball to the temple area with the palm of your hand. Lock your arm and do not move it throughout the exercise.

Tilt your head to the side, pushing the ball, and return to the starting position. Repeat 10-15 times. Do not press hard.


Throughout the exercise, the chin should be in the midline, so the exercise is best done in front of a mirror.

Neck extension. Sit in lotus position, chair, or exercise ball. Clasp your hands together and place them on the back of your head. Don’t strain your arms. Slouch, then gently straighten your back and neck. Repeat 10-15 times.


Left-right turns with resistance. Press the ball against the temporal area with the palm of your hand. Lock your arm and do not move it throughout the exercise. Turn your head to the side, pushing the ball, and return to the starting position.Repeat 10-15 times.


Horizontal shift. Lock your shoulders and try to move your head horizontally, as if your chin is sliding to the right, then to the left. Return to the starting position and slide your chin back. Repeat 10-15 times.


Additionally do exercises 2-5 from the first set.


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For 109 years of its existence, the educational institution has made a significant contribution to the training of teaching staff.During its existence, it has trained more than 12,000 teachers. Among the graduates of the college there are many famous honored people, statesmen. This is the famous Soviet military leader, twice Hero of the Soviet Union I.I. Yakubovsky; Doctor of Sciences T.A. Galinkevich, A. Ya. Utenkov, V.V. Poznyakov; composer Ya.A. Kosolapov; writers I.V. Vasilevsky, A.S. Rusetsky, I.M. Shevtsov. Orsha College of Voronezh State University named after P.M. Masherov was awarded: in 1971 with the Certificate of Honor of the Supreme Soviet of the BSSR, in 1978 and 1983 with the Transitional Red Banner of the Ministry of Education of the USSR and the Central Committee of the Trade Union of Education Workers, Higher Education and Scientific Institutions.Currently Orsha College of Voronezh State University named after P.M. Masherova trains: primary school teachers, English teachers, physical education teachers, educators, programmers and technicians. An appropriate material base has been created for high-quality training of specialists: 27 classrooms and laboratories, 2 reading rooms, 1 gym, 1 gym, 2 language laboratories, 3 computer labs. The book fund of the library has more than 80 thousand copies of educational, methodological, popular science and fiction.For nonresident students, there is a modern dormitory for 450 places, on the basis of which a social and cultural complex operates: a college history museum, a reading room, an assembly and a choreographic hall, music rooms for individual lessons, a studio of arts and crafts and fine arts, a gym. The teaching staff consists of 50 teachers, 13 of whom are masters; 75% have the highest and first qualification category. College teachers are actively involved in the processes of reforming education, research activities.Repeatedly took and are taking part in republican and international scientific and practical conferences and seminars, are the authors of many publications in the republican press. A.A.Zulev Director of Orsha College Educational Institutions Vitebsk State University named after P.M. Masherov

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Torticollis – What we treat “Children of Indigo”


Torticollis is a disease in which, for various reasons, there is a forced, incorrect tilt of the head with a turn of the chin in the opposite direction.This disease has many classifications, most often divided into congenital and acquired, right-sided and left-sided torticollis. It is not difficult to guess that with the left-sided crocodile, there is a fixed tilt of the head to the right shoulder, with the right-sided – on the contrary.

In infants, torticollis in most cases is diagnosed as congenital. It can occur due to the incorrect position of the fetus while still in the womb. As a rule, torticollis begins to appear in infants in the very first days after birth.And timely treatment of torticollis can eliminate the pathology.


There is a false torticollis in newborns. It is provoked by spasms of the cervical muscles with general hypertonia. Often, parents are frivolous about the problem, believing that over time everything will go away by itself. However, non-compliance with the prescriptions of a neurologist, the lack of qualified assistance from a massage therapist will lead to the fact that false torticollis in a newborn can become true and pass with the child into adulthood.

Torticollis in children is considered one of the most common birth defects, along with clubfoot, dysplasia and hip dislocation. More often, the disease is detected in girls.


Torticollis has many types, each of them forms its own cause. So, for example, reflex torticollis can develop with otitis media, inflammatory lesions of the skin of the neck, when the patient tilts his head to reduce pain.

Muscular torticollis in children is more common, in which the so-called sternocleidomastoid or other muscles of the shoulder girdle are affected. Damage to muscle fibers can occur for the following reasons:

  • severe, prolonged labor
  • previous infectious disease in the womb (in particular, poliomyelitis)
  • congenital malformation of muscles and cervical spine
  • violation of blood supply, etc.

The human body is a very intelligent machine. In the place where there is a lack of fibers or damage, it begins to actively produce connective tissue. Such a substitution for torticollis plays a bad role. Connective tissue disrupts muscle structure and functionality. Late rehabilitation with such a torticollis in a child can take a long time.


Muscle thickening with torticollis may externally manifest itself as swelling on the damaged side.The baby’s head will often tilt to one side, while the chin is turned to the other. Healthy children in the first month of life begin to actively twist their heads from side to side. A child with torticollis has a limitation of mobility; over time, head asymmetry may appear.


There are cases when damaged muscles can recover on their own. This usually occurs with mild damage or false torticollis in a child.In other cases, the lack of treatment for torticollis leads to serious consequences.

Firstly , the shoulder girdle will develop according to the compensatory principle. This will provoke pathological processes in the spine. In this case, at least scoliosis will develop, as well as facial asymmetry.

Secondly , muscle damage will affect the general well-being of the child: from time to time there will be unpleasant, painful sensations.

Thirdly , torticollis over time can cause disruption of blood supply, metabolic processes and provoke serious diseases.In addition, a child with torticollis is doomed to gaze from others, as a result, an inferiority complex may develop.


Torticollis in newborns causes certain difficulties in diagnosis, since young children often have a slight muscle tone. In any case, even experienced parents cannot make a diagnosis on their own. And if there are any doubts, it is better to turn to specialists for help in time.