What Is Torticollis?
Torticollis is when the sternocleidomastoid muscle (SCM), a muscle in the neck, tightens which then causes the baby’s head to tilt to one side. Occasionally, as a result, this can cause your baby to favor one side of their body and lead to your baby developing a flat spot if they are lying in the same position for long periods of time.
Torticollis is classified as either congenital (present since birth) or acquired (occurring later in infancy or childhood, with congenital muscular torticollis being the most common. It is very important to identify torticollis early and be assessed and followed by a physiotherapist.
Symptoms Can Include:
What Causes Torticollis?
There are various reasons why the sternocleidomastoid muscle can become tight in your baby’s neck:
How Can Physiotherapy Help?
The main goal of physiotherapy is to achieve an age-appropriate active and passive range of motion of the neck and to prevent contractures as well as develop symmetry of your baby’s face, head and neck. This can be achieved by:
Most children who attend physiotherapy will improve within a couple of months, with improved outcomes resulting if your baby attends in the first 6 months.
Source: Gundrathi J, Cunha B, Mendez MD. Congenital Torticollis. [Updated 2022 Nov 14]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK549778/