Torticollis is a contracture of all the muscles in the neck and it may occur due to sudden movement or a cold stream of air – especially when the muscle is warm or stretched. Doctor Lara Castagnetti, osteopath and specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in Humanitas, spoke about this at the Life – Wellness Objective programme, broadcasted on Rai RadioUno.
The muscle, especially after sport activities or having been in a warm environment, is relaxed. When cold air comes in, especially if directed at the neck, the muscle retracts to defend itself and remains stuck. The neck therefore locks in a position that tends to have lateral inclination, with consequent difficulty in movement,” explains Dr. Castagnetti.
When to contact your doctor?
However, this contracture can also conceal other rather more serious problems, such as discopathies, and therefore the advice is to assess the situation. If the torticollis develops gradually and lasts a few days without irradiation to the limbs, there’s no need to worry. If, on the other hand, it lasts for a few weeks, with associated tingling irradiation in the limb, it is best to consult your doctor for further examination”.
The importance of correct postures
Incorrect postures have a lot to do with the health of our neck, as do anxiety states: a lot of tension builds up on the cervical area and shoulders,” says the doctor.
It is very common, especially in those who work in the office, to stress their neck and shoulders with malicious positions. Some advice: “The keyboard of the PC should be at a sufficient distance from the body, so that the forearms remain resting on the desk, in order not to keep the muscles of the cervical area and shoulders in contraction. The upper edge of the screen must be at the level of our eyes,” the doctor points out.
In addition to taking a correct position, it can be very useful to perform a few simple exercises every day, perhaps to be performed after a couple of hours of static position. You can benefit from lateral bending of the head and the maintenance of the position for a few moments, rotation of the head and bending the head forward,” says Dr. Castagnetti.