Ocular torticollis: a pain in the neck?

This article describes the importance of sensory integration of visual, proprioceptive and vestibular systems and outlines the impact of oculomotor imbalance on posture and postural stability. Ocular torticollis is the primary example of compensatory posture due to ocular aetiology, but more subtle imbalances are discussed.

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A number of different eye-related disorders have been reported to result in an abnormal head position (AHP), for example, reduced ocular muscle action, nystagmus, oblique astigmatism, undercorrected myopia, overcorrected hypermetropia, ptosis (Shapiro 1994) or uncorrected high hyperopia (Havertape 1998). Ocular torticollis is an AHP caused by oculomotor imbalance that is frequently referred to in the ophthalmological literature, and is a phenomenon with which many optometrists will be familiar; however the potential non-visual consequences of this are less well known.

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