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.


4 Comments on “Torticollis.”

  1. Rovronr says:

    What do you think Terri Schiavo had?
    She tilted her head, too.
    Even better, she was diagnosed from Congress, yet, on videotape.
    What do you think Bill Frist would say about Obama?
    I’ll bet Frist wouldn’t be opposed to removing Obama’s life support.
    Show him the tapes.

  2. […] still more proof (as if any were needed)? As he stood and delivered his speech, nary a trace of torticollis! Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Buy-poll-er.The Politics Of Change « […]

  3. I saw your post about President Obama’s head tilt. You are absolutely correct. He has a very marked right head tilt. I first noticed it during the Saddleback Church Forum of August 2008. I do not think he has torticollis because he is able to change his head position often. A more accurate diagnoses is a “head tilt.” I noted this on my blog which you can read here:

  4. Almut Sidow says:

    I saw President Obama’s head tilt yesterday in the debate and it was so obvious that I am really wondering why only so very few people recognize it and worry about it. I only found this post and Dr. Klein’s post.
    I have a a seven year old son who was born with a tilted head. He is dealing with a number of learning disabilities and I am looking for ways to help him. I was sure I would find tausands of entries in the internet explaining President Obamas head tilt (and what to do about it).

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