I Can’t Move My Head!

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Say Goodbye to Back Pain!

I Can’t Move My Head!

I carry a heavy backpack to and from school each day and I dance for four hours a week, so my neck gets sore sometimes. Very sore. My neck has always been sensitive, and it doesn’t help that I am a petite girl, a bit smaller than my classmates. Usually, my mom, who is a doctor and the author of this book, helps my neck feel better by giving me a quick massage.

One morning, in third grade, I woke up and my neck felt different — worse than ever. The night before, my neck had been a little bit sore. But that morning, I couldn’t even move it; it was tilted to the side and stuck in that position. It hurt a lot. Every time I tried to move it, I felt a sharp pain. When I told my mom, who is a physiatrist, she explained that I had torticollis, a condition in which the head is turned to one side and cannot be moved to the other side, along with muscle spasms.

Hearing that I had torticollis made me nervous. Was I going to have this condition for life?

My mother helped my neck by stretching it, that is to say pulling it gently so that it would straighten out. I had to resist the urge to squeal in pain when she did that. I also had a special kind of massage where I lay down and my mom put her hands behind my head and the back of my neck and tenderly massaged it. When I went to school, I had a lot of trouble talking to the other kids and the teacher, because I could only face in one direction. But with my mom helping me stretch my neck out, after about three days, it felt entirely better.

I was so relieved when I could finally move my neck normally again. I now take it for granted that I can move my neck without difficulty, but I will never forget the time I had torticollis.

~ Anna Rose Silver, age 11 ~

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