Neck, chronic stiff: Also called torticollis or spasmodic torticollis, this is the most common of the focal dystonias: a state of abnormal -- either excessive of inadequate -- muscle tone.
In this disorder, the muscles in the neck that control the position of the head are affected, causing the head to twist and turn to one side. In addition, the head may be pulled forward or backward.
Torticollis can occur at any age, although most individuals first experience symptoms in middle age. It often begins slowly and usually reaches a plateau. About 10 to 20 percent of those with torticollis experience a spontaneous remission, but unfortunately the remission may not be longlasting.