Multiple Sclerosis Community
9.23k Members
645800 tn?1466860955

Tilting of head

I just noticed this the other day and of course forgot to mention it to my Neuro today.

When I am doing something like working on my computer, watching TV, driving. I am tilting my head to the right without even knowing. My MS effects mostly my right side so I am wondering if this is another MS thing ( weak neck on right side)?

Does anyone else find they tilt their heads?

10 Responses
738075 tn?1330575844
Wow, Dennis, I have the same thing - I tend to tilt my head to the right, too. I've noticed this when I'm driving or staring at my laptop screen.  I also have increased weakness in my right side, though it's not exclusive.  More of my deep hip spasms are on my left.  Hmmm
645390 tn?1338555377
Well, this might be an odd reply, but, LOTS of head tilts are due to vision.  Many people do not realize they do this, but will get comments from friends and families.  Depending on the amount of turn/tilt.

Sometimes it is due to double vision (that you might not even notice), and tilting your head fixes it.  Can also be from nystagmus and tipping the head keeps your eyes straight.

This is just one example of why head cant turn/tilt/ or tip.

With MS, I assume might be neck muscles as well...Perhaps see a neuro ophthalmologist?


1453990 tn?1329231426
You can also get "head tilt" from cervical dystonia (spasmodic torticollis).  If you have issues with spasticity, this is always a possibility.

645800 tn?1466860955
I do have nystagmus at times ( with all of my optical and Neuro visits they have only seen it once). I also have double vision quite often ( when I get too tired). So I suppose that could be the reason. But I don't understand how tilting the head would resolve either of them.

1917408 tn?1421952040
During the worst part of my optical issues, I was having the opposite experience. Laying on my side made everything look like I was looking through 3D glasses. Not quite double vision, but close to it. I had no idea why, but it must be a similar thing.

987762 tn?1331027953
My heads kind of out to lunch today lol but I thought the tilt to improve vision is when the nystagmus or double vision is happening when they look either left or right. I have both nystagmus (acquired) and diplopia (double vision) too though mines all the time now. Nystagmus can cause diplopia so maybe if like me you have both, its quite possible that its the nystagmus's fault. (lol did that make any sense?) The VA says.....

What is double vision?
Double vision, or diplopia, occurs when the eyes are not moving together so that the brain is getting two slightly different pictures simultaneously. This typically occurs when MS affects the brainstem, where the coordination of eye movements is controlled. One common cause of double vision in MS is an internuclear ophthalmoplegia (also known as an INO). Rarely, MS patients may develop double vision from a sixth nerve palsy or other neuro-ophthalmologic disorder.

Sometimes the patient does not see two completely separate images. MS patients may report a “shadow” or a “blur” instead of frank double vision. An important question to ask is whether the visual problem goes away if either eye is closed. Because diplopia is caused by the brain receiving two different images, one from each eye, as soon as either eye is closed, this type of visual problem will go away. On examination, there may be an obvious problem with the movement of the eyes, but sometimes the misalignment is not easy to see without special equipment.

What is nystagmus?
Nystagmus is an involuntary, rhythmic movement of the eyes that can be associated with vertigo (a feeling of “dizziness”), oscillopsia (the illusion that the world is “jumping” or “swinging back and forth”), blurry vision, or diplopia. Nystagmus can occur in the setting of an internuclear ophthalmoplegia (INO), or due to a MS attack in the vestibular part of the brainstem or cerebellum.

The nystagmus may be visible when the patient is looking straight ahead, but sometimes is only present when the patient is looking off to the side, up, or down. If the nystagmus is very mild, it may only be perceptible while using an ophthalmoscope.


My right eye ball is doing a constant horizontal jerk, i cant actually see the movement because its really fast, but I do see the jerk when i get floaters. hmmmm I just asked ds to tell me if he sees anything, when i look hard right or left, well apparently my left eye ball when i look left, is obviously jerking but the right eye ball looks normal, lol talk about being confused.

Funny but when i do the same test to the right eye, I seriously can't see anything but constant double and no movement is detectable by the nakid eye. I wonder if that means my left eye now has more prominant nystagmus than the right one, thats a newbie.

I think i've lost the plot now, sorry if i haven't helped at all.


2034625 tn?1392643292
My first sx was severe diplopia with one image over the other.  Tilting my head lessened the amount of space between the two images.  The neuro said it was normal even if she later determined that I didn't have fourth nerve palsy.  Not sure why it helps (or in some cases makes it worse), but it does seem to change the way we see things.    

645390 tn?1338555377
Hi Dennis,

The reason why tilting/turning/tipping the head can work for Vision issues is:

There are 6 muscles in each eye, each having their own movements.  They work together and alone.  Depending on how are head is centered, the movements change and position our eyes elsewhere. Double vision (Diplopia), can vary sometimes depending on what muscle is "being asked" to work.  Does that make sense?

Similar thing with Nystagmus at times.  Often there is something called a "Null point", which simply means less or no nystagmus in a particular head position.  This would give you clearer vision.

Generally if the head position isn't too dramatic, you don't "fix" it.  If it really is a large head turn and effects daily living (neck issues, etc.),  you can try to fix with prisms or surgery for either the muscle balance or to move the null point.

I hope I am making this somehow "easy" to understand.  It is rather complicated...

Avatar universal
Here's me thinking how silly am I sitting here looking like I can't hold my head up. My head used to tilt a lot on and off, usually when watching tv, driving, on the computer, although I am aware when it happens. For me it feels like a heavy head rather than an eyesight thing. It hasn't happened for such a long time until today and then I saw your post. I thought it was just me being silly, I will now add it to my ever growing list of symptoms for my neurologist appoinment next week.

keep well
645800 tn?1466860955
Thank you very much for trying to explain this to me. It sort of makes sense what you said and in my pre-MS self I probably would have gotten it completely.

With my Nystagmus I can actually feel my left eye moving and had noticed that it would stop when I moved my head downward while continuing to look straight forward.  I have also had the same experience dealing with my double vision but with an opposite reaction to head movement in that it will start the double vision ( looking to the left).

Thank you again!

Have an Answer?
Top Neurology Answerers
987762 tn?1331027953
5265383 tn?1483808356
1756321 tn?1547095325
Queensland, Australia
1780921 tn?1499301793
Queen Creek, AZ
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out how beta-blocker eye drops show promising results for acute migraine relief.
In this special Missouri Medicine report, doctors examine advances in diagnosis and treatment of this devastating and costly neurodegenerative disease.
Here are 12 simple – and fun! – ways to boost your brainpower.
Discover some of the causes of dizziness and how to treat it.
Discover the common causes of headaches and how to treat headache pain.
Two of the largest studies on Alzheimer’s have yielded new clues about the disease