Physical Therapy: Torticollis

Torticollis is a condition where an infant’s neck muscles tighten and cause head turning, tilting, or position preference.

The muscle responsible for turning and tilting the head runs on both sides of the neck. In torticollis, this muscle shortens and contracts, or “gets tight” and limits how the head moves.

One sign of torticollis can be seen in a baby's head shape. Babies have soft heads in their early months, and a baby's preference for a particular position, head tilt or turn, can impact the shape of the head and cause a flat spot. This flat or asymmetrical head shape is known as plagiocephaly.

Babies who spend extended periods of time on their backs can develop a flat spot on the back of their head, which can lead to head shape and facial asymmetries. This is why tummy-time is so important!

If you are noticing your baby turning or tilting his/her head to one side, talk to your doctor about seeing a Pediatric Physical Therapist!

Pediatric Physical Therapists can:

  • Help to provide stretches and positioning techniques to lengthen the shortened muscle.
  • Demonstrate appropriate positioning for holding, feeding, sleeping, playing, car seat time, and even diaper changing that will help to regain range of motion and strength for the neck.
  • Help guide you in how to address the flattening on the back of the head (plagiocephaly)
  • Offer referrals to appropriate specialists depending on severity
  • Provide home exercise programs so that parents are able to take exercises from sessions and continue at home between sessions

Physical therapy is a great conservative approach to this condition with great results! Call for an evaluation: 828.398.0043.

Devika Kumar, PT, DPT

Want to know how a Therapist can Help?

Schedule your infant, child, and teen for an evaluation today and see how a therapist can help your family.
Call (828) 398 0043 or click on the schedule button.

Post navigation