Studies reveal that as many as 3 in every 100 infants are impacted by torticollis. Parents may start to worry when a baby’s head starts tilting to one side or if they prefer to look only in one direction. Your doctor may have noticed a head tilt at your baby’s last check-up. Infant torticollis (tor-ti-col-lis) is easily diagnosable by tightened muscles on one side of the neck, which leaves your baby’s head at a tilt and/or rotation.
Torticollis refers to symptoms that arise when neck muscles twist, flex or extend beyond their normal position. Infant torticollis happens when the muscles that connect the breastbone and collarbone to the skull (sternocleidomastoid muscle) are shortened.
The majority of torticollis cases are the result of a child being born with torticollis. This is referred to as congenital torticollis. Congenital torticollis is most commonly attributed to how the baby was positioned in utero. Other causes of infant torticollis may be prematurity, birth trauma, abnormalities of the spine and neck, and in rare cases more serious genetic diagnoses. In very rare cases, a child may acquire torticollis as the result of an infection or trauma.
If your child has torticollis, you may notice signs that include:
If you have concerns that your child may have torticollis, contact your pediatrician immediately. Your pediatrician will likely recommend physical therapy which will consist of stretches and developmental positions to help strengthen your child’s neck,
You can also be proactive at home! Here are 3 ways you can help improve your child’s torticollis.
Our therapists love the following products in conjunction with therapy for the treatment of torticollis.
The key to torticollis is to be proactive in seeking the appropriate treatment. At NAPA Center, we offer custom-designed treatment programs that will take your child’s unique needs into consideration. If you’d like to schedule a consultation to learn more, get in touch with us today.