ZocdocAnswersWhy is my head tilting to one side?

Question

Why is my head tilting to one side?

Call me crazy, but I really think that my head is slanted. It looks like it is tilting to the right side. I noticed this last week and now I can't stop thinking about it. Is there something in my neck that could really make my head tilt like this?

Answer

There is a medical condition known as torticollis, which involves twisting or tilting of the head to one side or the other. Most of the time, this is associated with pain and spasm in the muscles of the neck, but the degree of pain and stiffness can be somewhat variable. In adults who previously had no symptoms, the onset of torticollis is called acquired torticollis. Three are numerous potential causes of acquired torticollis, although some of the most common include throat infections or infections of the lymph nodes in the neck, or certain classes of medications. Torticollis can also come on suddenly at times due to a muscle strain or awkward posture. Rarely, but more seriously, torticollis can sometimes be a sign of injury to the spinal column or of tumors in the head. It is best to go see your primary care doctor about this issue, especially if the symptoms persist or worsen. Your doctor will be able to examine you closely to see if you might have torticollis and, if so, to rule out potentially serious causes of the torticollis. Make sure to mention to your doctor any concerning symptoms such as fever, recent infections, neck pain, headache, dizziness, or the like.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.