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Objective: To discuss the reduction of lateral head translation pseudo-scoliosis in a patient with chronic craniocervical symptoms including cervical dystonia.
Clinical Features: A 59-year-old female had cervical dystonia and cervical scoliosis. Examination showed symptoms consistent with dystonia including involuntary neck contractions, neck pain, headaches, and a right-handed tremor. Radiographic assessment showed a primary right-sided head translation posture (pseudo-scoliosis) with secondary left lateral head flexion, and tertiary left head rotation.
Intervention and Outcome: The patient was treated by Chiropractic BioPhysics® mirror image® left-sided head and neck traction, exercises, and spinal adjustments. After 24 treatment sessions over 8 weeks, she reported a 90% reduction in cervical dystonia symptoms, improvement in neck pain and improved disability. Repeat radiography demonstrated A 75% reduction in the cervical subluxation. A 1.5-year follow-up showed maintenance of symptoms and posture.
Conclusion: Although the mechanisms are not yet known, the correction of posture in those suffering from cervical dystonia and related neurological disorders may benefit from the correction of posture. The distinction between true scoliosis and ‘pseudo-scoliosis’ postures by routine radiographic assessment is essential prior to initiating spine rehabilitation as their treatment approaches will differ.
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