Chiropractic treatment for Infant Torticollis

If you’re a parent, the health of your child is the most important thing in your life. You want to see your baby grow into a well-functioning adult. Some babies get a condition called Torticollis , which results in the head turning slightly to the side. It’s important to get early treatment for torticollis for two reasons: (1) so that it doesn’t become a stubborn condition that’s harder to treat in the future, and (2) to rule out torticollis occurring with another medical issue. 

Experts aren’t sure of all of the causes of torticollis, but two of the most common are placement in the mothers womb and/ or method of the delivery . The baby’s head may be in an abnormal position inside the womb — for example, a breech position. Forceps or a vacuum device used during birth may cause torticollis. 

Signs of torticollis:

The following are common Signs of torticollis. Early treatment ensures the best results. 

Head tilt in one direction.

One of the most important parental activities is bonding with your baby. Looking in your baby’s eyes is important for bonding and attachment. Is your baby’s head turned slightly to the side so that he’s not looking at you straight on? This is a symptom of torticollis and one you must get checked out and treated. You may also notice your baby prefers to look only in one direction, even when it may be less stimulating (i.e. towards the wall in their crib), due to the tightness caused by torticollis. 

Trouble moving head toward you.

When you try to get your baby to look at you, does he have trouble moving his head to turn toward you? Does he get fussy if he has to move his head? This is a possible indication of torticollis.

Trouble feeding from both breasts.

If your baby prefers to feed from only one breast, it may be because he has to strain his neck to reach the other one. Of course, he doesn’t have language to express his discomfort.

Flat skull in one area.

Does your baby’s head look flat on one side? Your infant can develop this condition, called  plagiocephaly, simply from sleeping on one side. The reason your infant prefers to sleep on only one side may be because he doesn’t have full range of motion in his neck due to torticollis. 

Lump in the neck.

Does your baby have a small lump on one side of his neck? The muscle may be constricted and form a knot. You’ll see it dissipate when your baby receives occupational therapy. Please refrain from palpating or massaging the area, but you can let your therapist or position know. 

Trouble turning head side to side or up and down.

If your baby doesn’t bend his neck to look up or down or resists moving his head side to side when presented with stimuli, this could be a symptom of torticollis. Most commonly, babies with torticollis tend to always prefer a single side when placed on their back to sleep, even if they are observed to look to both sides when away. 

The good news is that torticollis is treatable.

In our case the mother noticed the restrictions of the neck in general particularly when breastfeeding.

The right shoulder restrictions especially when dressing the baby and moaning when the shoulder was raised.

The pediatrician contested the findings in otherwise perfect healthy baby.

The findings were as described above the head was slightly tilted and paravertebral muscular hypertonicity especially on the right side.

Chiropractic pediatric care and exercises for the parent with the baby were given restore mobility in cervical and thoracic spine. The shoulder improved thus improved as well.