In babies, torticollis can happen due to positioning in the womb or after a difficult childbirth. This condition is called infant torticollis or congenital muscular torticollis and often caused by one sided tightness in baby’s neck muscles , usually the sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscles.

Sign & symptoms of Torticollis?

  1.  Tilt the head in one direction. (this can be hard to notice in very young babies. If you’ve often noticed your baby is only looking one way, they only use one hand, they’re developing any type of flat spot, or they’re tipping their head, you want to mention that to your physician)
  2.  Prefer looking at you over one shoulder instead of turning to follow you with his or her eyes
  3.  Mommies often have trouble breastfeeding only on one side (or baby prefers one breast only)
  4.  Work hard to turn toward you and get frustrated when unable turn his or her head completely
  5.  Babies with torticollis might develop a flat spot/ head (positional plagiocephaly) on one or both sides from lying in one direction all the time.
  6.  Babies might also develop a small lump or bump at one side of the neck muscles, which is similar to a “knot” or a tense muscle.

Physiotherapy treatments for Torticollis?

It’s important to seek physiotherapy treatment as an early intervention for babies as Torticollis doesn’t just affect babies head shape, it also affect of the way they’re looking. It affects how babies interact with their environment and hence affect babies milestone developments.

 

  1. Manual Technique to stretch baby by physiotherapist. Parents or guardian must be around during the therapy sessions.
  2. Exercises: Our physiotherapist will teach you neck stretching exercises to practice at home. These help loosen the tight SCM and strengthen the weaker one on the opposite side (which has weakened due to underuse). This will help to straighten out your baby’s neck.