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Infant Torticollis

March 12, 2018

 

As we have a new PT on staff, I thought it was only fitting to post a blog showcasing one of her specialties...Torticollis!

 

As a speech therapist, I had absolutely no idea what this was. This is how it was described to me.

 

Have you ever woken up with a stiff neck, making it hard or painful to turn your head? This is what's known as torticollis (Latin for "twisted neck") and it can happen in newborns.  Torticollis can happen due to positioning in the womb or after a difficult childbirth. 

 

Most babies don't feel any pain from torticollis, and the problem usually gets better with simple position changes or stretching exercises done at home.

 
I was very surprised to find out that Torticollis is relatively common in newborns. Boys and girls are equally likely to develop the head tilt. It can be present at birth or take up to 3 months to develop.

 

Below is a checklist that Dr. Stefanie Morici developed to help families identify if their kiddo has torticollis.  If your child has two or more of the following symptoms, please contact us for a physical therapy consultation today.

 

Does/Is your child...

 

1. Only look one direction when she/he sleeps. 

2. Tilt his/her head one way all the time, especially when tired/hungry/fussy. 

3. Turns his/her head farther in one direction than the other. 

4. Behind on his/her gross motor milestones. 

5. Only bring one hand to his/her mouth. 

6. Have more difficulty breast feeding on one side. 

7. Have a history of tongue/lip ties. 

8. Developing motor skills on one side more than the other. 

9. Have a flat spot on the back side of his/her head. 

10. Have asymmetrical facial features (eyes, ears, cheeks). 

 

 

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