As pediatric physiotherapists, Torticollis is the most common issue that we see in infants. Torticollis is a common infant condition where muscles on one side of the neck are tight, causing a tilt or one direction rotation in the baby’s head. Infant Torticollis is often considered to be related to the positioning of baby in the womb and/or stresses on the muscles of the neck during delivery.
Infant Torticollis occurs when there is a problem with a muscle in the neck called the sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle, which runs from behind the ear to the collar bone. Typically, with Infant Torticollis, one SCM is short while the other is long and weak, causing the baby to favour one side and turn their head in that direction.
How to Recognize Torticollis:
Keep an eye out for these common signs that can indicate Infant Torticollis:
· Head often tilted in one direction
· Unable to turn head equally in both directions
· Trouble breastfeeding on one side, or has strong preference to one side
· Flattening on one side of head, usually on side baby likes to look toward (this is called plagiocephaly)
If your baby has any of these signs, you should consider booking an assessment with a pediatric physiotherapist because, with early intervention, torticollis can be easily corrected. A pediatric physiotherapist will educate and develop a take-home program for parents that will include stretching, exercising and positioning the head properly to treat the torticollis and monitor the baby’s range of motion and progress.
Think your child may have torticollis and looking to get some guidance on what you can do for them? We can help – VIRTUALLY!
Contact Blueberry Therapy today to book your Initial Assessment with one of our Registered Physiotherapists.