Cervical Dystonia and Cervical Spondylosis

Cervical Dystonia

Cervical dystonia, also known as spasmodic torticollis, is a painful condition involving involuntary muscle contraction that pulls and locks the neck in one direction. Cervical dystonia can happen to any age person. The causes for this affliction can be idiopathic (unknown), from injuries to the head and/or shoulders, or by the use of antipsychotic drugs, or anti nausea drugs. Symptoms of cervical dystonia are:

  • Pain (often disabling) 
  • Head twisted or turned to one side, forward or backwards 
  • Neck pain that radiates into shoulders
  • Headaches

Treatments that are used to try and fix or help cervical dystonia are surgery or botox injections.

Risk factors for developing cervical dystonia are:

  • Age-most common between the ages of forty to seventy
  • Being female
  • Familial occurence

Complications of cervical dystonia are:

  • Depression
  • Proximal muscles (such as those in the face or shoulders) can become affected by similar muscle contraction (this is more common is kids with cervical dystonia)


Cervical Spondylosis

Cervical spondylosis is common, degenerative, progressive condition that affects most seniors to a certain degree. It involves the c-spine (vertebrae of the neck) undergoing changes to the intervertebral disks. These disks begin to break down, resulting in fragments, fluid loss, failure, and increasing friction to the vertebrae on either side. Disks provide for cushioning, and less wear and tear to the vertebrae protecting the spinal cord. Disk tissue loss is compensated for by replacement with bone which limits the range of motion, and can push into the space meant to be occupied by the spinal cord and nerves. Symptoms and signs of cervical spondylosis are:

  • Neck stiffness
  • Cervicalgia (neck and/or shoulder pain)
  • Cervical spondylotic myelopathy 
  • Anterior cord compression
  • Suboccipital pain
  • Dexterity effects (numbness in hands, decreasing coordination)
  • Osteophytic bars (bone replacing the disks between vertebrae)
  • Radicular symptoms
  • Degenerative kyphosis
  • Degenerative subluxation
  • Spinal cord ischemia
  • Stretch-associated injury

Complications of cervical spondylosis are paraparesis and quadriparesis. Surgery is not often attempted for this condition. Treatment approaches remain conservative and address pain alleviation. Risk factors for developing cervical spondylosis are age (up to 70% of seniors have this condition to a certain extent), males experience faster degeneration from cervical spondylosis than do females, familial propensity for development, and repeated occupational trauma may play a role in development of this condition (dancers and gymnasts, for example). 

If you or a loved one suffered a worsening of a condition due to cervical dystonia or cervical spondylosis misdiagnosis,  you may be eligible for damages. Call the Sweeney Law Firm and let our experts review the facts. You may have a medical malpractice case. If we decide to accept your case, we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning there is no fee for representation unless there is a settlement or fund recovery made on your behalf.