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How can I differ torticollis from meningitis? The doctor said torticollis at glance, provided meds, but 5 days later pain is spreading to my back?

8 doctors weighed in
Dr. William Gaya
Neurology
6 doctors agree

In brief: Torticollis

Meningitis is inflammation or irritation of the meninges.
Can be caused by bacterial, fungal, viral or parasitic infections and rarely due to chemically induced inflammation. Symptoms vary from stiff neck, signs of nuchal rigidity (kernig, brudzinski), fever, elevated white blood cell count, lethargy or confusion, headache. Cervical pain due to other conditions may be hard to differentiate from meningitis. When in doubt go back to your doctor.

In brief: Torticollis

Meningitis is inflammation or irritation of the meninges.
Can be caused by bacterial, fungal, viral or parasitic infections and rarely due to chemically induced inflammation. Symptoms vary from stiff neck, signs of nuchal rigidity (kernig, brudzinski), fever, elevated white blood cell count, lethargy or confusion, headache. Cervical pain due to other conditions may be hard to differentiate from meningitis. When in doubt go back to your doctor.
Dr. William Gaya
Dr. William Gaya
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1 comment
Dr. Colin Sanner
Torticollis is dystonia/ muscle spasm of the neck. It's painful and tight, but, as Dr Gaya commented, won't cause meningismus = pain on stretching the meninges. Meningitis requires urgent treatment, while dystonia, including torticollis, is a chronic condition to manage (i.e. usually cannot be cured). Good luck!
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