Torticollis.Posted: April 29, 2008
I think Barack Obama has torticollis.
First, let me say that I’m greatly heartened by his unequivocal rejection of Jeremiah Wright today. (The above screen shot is from his press conference that greatly heartens me.) The disgust he expresses, which goes much farther than his “race” speech in Philadelphia, is everything one could wish for.
But second, let me say that the head tilt that is evident in the screen shot has me a little worried. Not on America’s behalf, but on Barack’s. I first began to notice it about a month ago, in the last debate, the one held in Philadelphia. (The one in which he endured 45 minutes of questioning about his personal associations.) That night, he showed a consistent tendency to tilt his head camera-left (to his own right), and it is apparent that he is still doing this. The tilt is actually more pronounced than the sreen shot shows.
At the time, I remarked on this to my personal trainer (I am working on my own posture, which leaves something to be desired), and she replied that it could be torticollis. Torticollis can either be congenital (part of your m.o. from birth), or it can be acquired in adulthood. If congenital, the cause
is unclear. Birth trauma or intrauterine malposition is considered to cause damage to the sternocleidomastoid muscle in the neck. This results in a shortening or excessive contraction of the sternocleidomastoid muscle, often with limited range of motion in both rotation and lateral bending. The head is typically tilted in lateral bending toward the affected muscle and rotated toward the opposite side.
If torticollis is acquired in adulthood, the cause can be anything from consistently sleeping in a bad bed, to (God forbid) a tumor at the skull base, to (God forbid again) the taking of antipsychotic drugs. I don’t know what is causing Obama’s torticollis (and the screen shot doesn’t do justice to the degree of head tilt I’ve seen him demonstrate in the last month), but my lay diagnosis is that he has it. I hope he finds the cause, and then finds the cure. I want my President to have his head screwed on straight.