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Treating Torticollis

Causes, Symptoms,  Recovery, and Prevention

Torticollis is characterized by an abnormal neck position in which the top of the head is tilted in one direction and the chin tilted in another. This condition often occurs in infants and can be congenital occurring during in utero or at birth or acquired which would be during infancy. 

Common Causes and Symptoms of Torticollis

Torticollis is a condition that can manifest in several ways, with the most prominent symptom being a noticeable tilt of the head or neck. This can occur during birth, in utero, or can happen during infancy often due to positioning or other medical conditions. It can also cause plagiocephaly which is a flat spot on one side or the entire back of the skull due to the infant staying in one neck position for extended periods of time. Early diagnosis and treatment typically lead to positive outcomes, highlighting the importance of awareness and understanding.

Recovery and the Role of Physical Therapy

Recovery can be helped significantly by the timely and effective implementation of physical therapy. This rehabilitative process aids in restoring neck range by providing stretching and soft tissue work and working on the child’s head positioning. The physical therapist will also work on strengthening exercises while incorporating play into the session. 

How to Prevent Torticollis

Make sure that your child can look in both directions and doesn’t favor one side or the other. Alternate feeding positions, encourage tummy time and gently stretch your baby’s neck into the side that they do not want to look. If you think your child may have torticollis, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with one of our physical therapists!

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