Monday, June 8, 2015

When to Apply Torticollis Infant Physical Therapy

Torticollis is a Latin term that means a twisted neck. Having uncomfortable neck can lead to a torticollis neck. Infants can also suffer from tortiicollis meaning that they may need torticollis infant physical therapy to rectify the condition.

Normally it is quite upsetting to see infants with a tilted head or having difficulties in turning their head around.  Even though, babies having this problem will not experience pain, the condition can easily be managed if proper positioning is done.

Causes of the condition

Newborn born babies can experience the problem  but doctor believe that it can be caused by cramping of the fetus in the uterus or could be caused by incorrect position of the baby especially when the baby’s buttocks face the birth canal.  Similarly, the use of forceps or vacuum devices during birth can easily lead to the development of torticollis . Doctors believe that poor handling and use of the devices could be the main cause.

During birth,  torticollis  can be caused  when the affected muscle rotates  to the opposite side. If it is not treated or attended to early enough, it can lead to more complications.  Torticollis infant physical therapy can be used to treat this condition and may include strengthening and stretching the child’s neck and shoulders. A competent therapist may stretch the neck and the shoulder muscle as well as perform a number of activities including proper positioning to correct the posture and improve the head control. The doctor may also prescribe exercises meant to improve motor development of a child. In some cases, the doctor may recommend the use of a helmet to reshape the head.

Torticollis infant physical therapy can be performed at home especially if it is discovered early. The doctor can help and teach you on how to use exercises to loosen the tight SCM and strengthen the neck muscles that are underused. The exercises can help to strengthen the muscles by applying a more intensive treatment. If the baby has signs of unstable hip, the doctor may recommend for ultrasound alongside the therapy. Fortunately, torticollis may not be related to other medical conditions thus it can be managed by torticollis infant physical therapy.

If you are applying the therapy at home, it is recommended that you perform a number of stretches but the activities should be performed several times in a day to help the child benefit from the therapy. After the torticollis infant physical therapy has been performed, it is important that you continue with some limited exercises to ensure complete healing. The exercises are meant to help to loosen tense neck muscles. This must be carefully done to ensure that the child does not get hurt.


When you are putting the baby to sleep, it is recommended that you position them to sleep while facing the wall because when they wake up, the first thing they do is to look for where the light is coming from and thus will turn themselves away from the wall.

Strategies to Incorporate In Torticollis Infant Physical Therapy

When carrying the baby, ensure that the infants left ear rests against the left forearm. The baby’s body must also be supported by placing your hand in between the legs.
When feeding the child, place the bottle in such a way that they face in the opposite direction of their preferred side.

Note that stretching exercises used to treat torticollis will work well if they are started when the baby is 3 to 6 months old. However, if the stretching does not improve the baby’s condition it is recommended that you see a doctor to determine if it is necessary for the child to undergo muscle release surgery.

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