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Article
July 11, 1896

CLINICAL NOTES UPON SPASMODIC TORTICOLIS; WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO TREATMENT.

Author Affiliations

MEMBER MASSACHUSETTS MEDICAL SOCIETY; PRESIDENT BOSTON THERAPEUTICAL SOCIETY; PROFESSOR EMERITUS OF MATERIA MEDICA, COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS. AND CONSULTING PHYSICIAN TO UNION GENERAL HOSPITAL. BOSTON, MASS.

JAMA. 1896;XXVII(2):59-62. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430800001001

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Abstract

Torticollis (wryneck) is due to a spasmodic condition of the cervical muscles, chiefly those supplied by the spinal accessory nerves. The name is derived from two Latin words, tortus, twisted, and collum, neck. The terms tic rotatoire, Nickrampf, etc., are used as expressive of the spasm, muscles affected, tenacity, etc.

This abnormal contraction of the cervical muscles is directly the result of irritation of the external cervical branch of the spinal accessory nerve, which having two different origins, a spinal and cerebral, has two distinct functions. The spinal or motor branch supplies the motor power to the sterno-cleido-mastoid and trapezius muscles, and communicates with the first, second, third, and fourth cervical nerves, its roots being traced between the anterior and posterior roots of the first five cervical nerves. As we have seen, wryneck proper is an affection of the sterno-cleido-mastoid and trapezius muscles, but in cases of long standing and

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