If you are in any way partial to the OTC drug, Tylenol, then you probably won't be happy about what I'm going to say today.  Johnson and Johnson, the makers of the uber popular pain medication just recalled over a hundred thousand bottles because a strange odor was reported.  Officials for the company were quick to make light of it, citing that only a few folks reported the smell.  They also noted that the primary cause for the odor is probably a chemical that comes from the wood palates used to transport the drugs in bulk.  Said chemical was recently responsible for another of the now four recall cases in the last year.  Earlier this year, the wood palate chemical caused people taking Tylenol to vomit and have diarrhea, symptoms that the ABC News medical editor called "not that severe."  136 million bottles of Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec, and Benadryl were recalled back in April.  In July, another 21 products were recalled. 

So, buyer BE AWARE. 

Doctor's Note - I agree that vomiting and diarrhea are not severe symptoms.  Your body has multiple ways of getting rid of things that shouldn't be there and those just happen to be two of them.  However, I do not agree that said symptoms being the result of taking a Tylenol should be brushed under the rug like its not significant.  These peoples bodies immediately rejected a bad batch of the most overused drug on the planet (statistically).  I'd call that significant. 

Condition of the Week: Torticollis

Also called wry neck, torticollis is a condition where the head tilts to one side and often rotates slightly.  If you've ever had a crick in your neck, where you just feel stiff and unable to move your head and neck properly.  Imagine being like that for an extended period of time and you've experienced a similar symptom.  Typically, a major part of this condition is the tightening of what's called the strap muscle (technically named the sternocleidomastoid), which runs from just behind the ear down along the front part of your neck toward your sternum.  You have one on each side, so when that muscle tightens up (shortens/contracts) on one side, then it pulls and rotates your head. 

Unfortunately, the tightening of the strap muscle is usually the result of the problem; not the cause.  Much time and effort is spent addressing the muscle, but much like having to continually change a faulty tire on a car that has lost its alignment, it's only a temporary solution.  The reality is that an upper cervical/brainstem subluxation (misalignment of 1st or 2nd bone in neck) is a condition that directly causes changes in the strap muscles.  Initially creating a head tilt toward one side, the misalignment of the atlas (top) vertebra causes a change in muscle tone on either side.  One side gets scrunched up; the other gets stretched out.  Additionally, since that bone is held in place only by muscle and lacks an interlocking joint to hold it securely in place, it can cause the head to slightly rotate.  

The combination of head tilt and rotation is the cause of torticollis and is a direct result of a brainstem subluxation, which can be caused as early as the birthing process due to the traumatic forces of twisting and turning and yanking on the head/neck region.  The correction of this condition is quite simple and gentle.   

Thinking good things for you, as always,

Dr. Chad