Torticollis


Torticollis is an idiopathic postural deformity, typically characterized by a tilt of the head to one side and a strong preference for turning the head to the opposite side due to shortening or tightening of the sternocleidomastoid muscle on one side. Torticollis may be accompanied by other musculoskeletal conditions like hip dysplasia.
In most case the torticollis is a result from intra-uterine positioning. Usually we only see the signs when the infant is between 6-8 weeks old.

In the 1990s, a dramatic reduction in sleep-related infant deaths followed the release of recommendations and campaigns including Back-to-Sleep (now known as Safe to SleepĀ®), resulted however in an increase in torticollis cases as it meant that there was a reduction in time spent of infants on their tummy.

A large majority of children with torticollis are also diagnosed with plagiocephaly ( mis-shapen and/or asymmetrical head shape) as they always put pressure on one side of the head.

Physiotherapy intervention will include

  • Massage
  • Passive and Active Range of Motion
  • Strengthening Exercises
  • Positioning and Handling Guidelines
  • Visual Exercises
  • Righting Reactions/Postural Education
  • Environmental Adaptations

Parents will be instructed to execute all of the above in their daily schedule of their infant. Handouts will be given out with the protocols and easy to follow instructions. I do recommend parents to take videos of the techniques.