· Condition in which the head is tipped to one side and the chin is rotated towards the other.
· Infants can be born with this condition due to positioning in the womb or injury to muscles and blood supply in the neck.
· The sternocleidomastoid muscle in the neck is affected with shortening or excessive contraction. The result of damage to the SCM is decreased motion into side-bending and rotation of the neck.
· This condition is named by the way in which the head is tilted to.
· About 1 in 250 infants are born with torticollis.
Symptoms: decreased range of motion at the neck, tilting the head to one direction, preference towards breastfeeding on one side only, difficulty looking to one side, and flat head due to positioning on one side.
–Stretching (perform with baby lying in your lap facing you)
· Place your hand on the affected shoulder and slowly bring the head towards the non-affected side-hold 10 seconds.
· Slowly rotate his/her head to the opposite side that he/she is rotated to-hold 10 seconds.
· Tummy time is important so that he/she can hold their head up on their own and reduce head flattening.
· When putting the baby down for a nap or to go to sleep position his/her head to the opposite side.
· Alternate the side that you feed/carry the baby on to encourage them to turn in both directions.
· Place a towel in the carrier on the affected side to give a continuous stretch while seated in car seat/lying.
· Encourage the baby to look to side opposite his/her preference. Use bright and noisy toys to encourage this.
Most cases take about 6 months to resolve. For additional information on home stretching programs, positioning, and treatment needs contact us at 352-404-6908. We treat torticollis patients in the 34711 area! Call us today!