Torticollis is the tilt and/or rotation of the head to one side because of tight and weak neck muscles. It occurs when the muscle that runs up and towards the back of the neck (the sternocleidomastoid muscle) becomes tight, weakened, or thickened. The most common form of this condition affects infants and is generally diagnosed within the first 2 months of life.
Why should Torticollis be treated?
Torticollis may lead to additional problems, such as:
• Flattening of the skull
• Movement that favors one side of the body, affecting the arms, trunk, and hips, which can lead to strength imbalances
• Developmental hip dysplasia
• Limited ability to turn the head to see, hear, and interact with surroundings on one side
• Poor body awareness
• Difficulty with balance
How can Physical Therapy help?
Our therapists will develop an individualized treatment plan for your child to:
Strengthen the neck muscles
Correct muscle imbalance
Gain pain-free movement (range of motion)
Improve postural control and symmetry
Improve the body’s alignment by easing muscle tension
These goals may be achieved through stretching, strengthening, massage, positioning, taping, and a home exercise program. Early treatment results in the best outcomes.