Torticollis (which according to Dejerine1 was mentioned by Rabelais as torty colly), or involuntary turning of the neck, may result from a number of causal factors, such as "rheumatic" myositis, epilepsy, torsion spasm of striatal disease, functional tic and hysteria. There is an affliction, however, which clearly stands out as an entity—torticollis spastica.
Characterizing Features.—Torticollis spastica usually makes its onset in adult life. The forceful spasm may draw the head to either side, though, as a rule, once the spasm begins it continues to be directed to the same side. The spasm varies in intensity from time to time, and there may be periods of freedom from spasm. Excitement and activity usually increase the intensity. The spasm ceases during sleep and narcosis and often on relaxation of the neck, only to reappear when an effort is made to hold up the head. The spasm may be tonic, with
HYNDMAN OR. TORTICOLLIS SPASTICASUGGESTED ETIOLOGIC RELATION TO THE VESTIBULAR APPARATUS; REPORT OF A CASE. Arch Otolaryngol. 1939;29(6):927–938. doi:10.1001/archotol.1939.00650051007004