As a parent of a newborn, you try to prepare yourself as much as possible for the day your little one will arrive.–You get the nursery ready, buy all the necessary items and install the infant carrier into the car. The big day arrives, and you’re ready to take your perfect little one home with you. Then on the first visit with your pediatrician, they mention to you that your baby has torticollis, and you’re freaked. It sounds pretty serious, doesn’t it? There is no need to worry too much. Torticollis is fairly common and treatable.
Torticollis means “twisted neck,” and it’s also sometimes called wryneck. If a child is born with this condition it is called congenital torticollis. When a baby has congenital torticollis, their head will be tilted to one side, while the chin is turned to the other side. Congenital torticollis is most often due to tightness in the muscle that connects the breastbone and the collarbone to the skull. Many times, this tightness developed because of the way the baby was positioned in the uterus. If you have seen a baby with torticollis, you may notice that the baby holds their head to one side and has limited neck movement. Another telltale sign is small bump on the side of their neck. While it may look painful, it usually isn’t. Congenital torticollis is usually diagnosed within the first two months of a baby’s life. Even if parents don’t spot it, a pediatrician will. In most cases, the pediatrician will recommend physical therapy.
At Advanced Physical Therapy Center, our therapists are caring and patient. They will thoroughly evaluate your child before starting treatment. They will also teach you, as a parent, how to do the stretching and positioning exercises with your child. The moves are not complicated, and they are very gentle. It is essential that your child sees a licensed therapist, so they can teach you the proper technique to continue these exercises at home. Once your baby starts treatment, you will probably see an improvement within weeks, and the condition should be fully corrected by age one. Just remember to practice these moves as much as possible and give your child plenty of “tummy time” to strengthen their neck muscles.
We have several clinicians on staff that can effectively help your child with congenital torticollis:
Luci Harris, PT, DPT, OMPT – Clarkston Location (248) 620-4260
Ashley Herrick, PT, DPT – Davison Location (810) 412-5100
Jill Ivy, PTA – Davison Location (810) 412-5100
Kortney Smith, PT, DPT – Davison Location (810) 412-5100