You or your pediatrician may have noticed your baby always looking one direction. You may have heard someone say your baby has a wry-neck. Find out more information on Torticollis from OCH Pediatric Physical Therapist, Lexi Sneed, before it becomes a major issue.
- What is Torticollis? Torticolis (Congential Muscular Torticollis) is a condition in which the infant keeps his or her head turned one direction and may also have a tilted head. Most often the child will be looking to the right and the head will be seen tilted to the left. The tilt is caused by a tightening and shortening of the sternocleidomastoid muscle, a thick muscle which runs from behind the ear down to between the collar bones.
- How did my child get this? The cause of torticollis can be unknown, or it could be related to how the baby was positioned while in the uterus. For example the baby could have been in a breech position or “crowded” while developing. It could also be a result of the baby spending too much time on his or her back; whether in a crib, car seat, swing or on the floor. Tummy time is very important!
- What is Plagiocephaly? Plagiocephaly (play-jee-oh-sef-uh-lee) is also called “flat head syndrome” and is often associated with torticollis. Because a baby’s skull is very soft an infant who wants to always look one direction causes increased pressure on the tissue and bones of that side of the head.
- How can it be fixed? We can help!!! The Pediatric Physical Therapists here at OCH are available to assess your child’s needs. As Physical Therapists, we are trained to assist in stretching and moving your child’s body to correct the muscle differences. We can provide regular visits to help your child along with providing parents stretching exercises to do at home between therapy visits.
- How can parents help? Seeking the help of an experienced Physical Therapist is without a doubt one of the best ways to help your child overcome torticollis. At OCH, we have experienced therapists who can treat this condition. A great way to help your child at home is to make sure they have plenty of tummy time.
Lexi Sneed is a pediatric physical therapist at the OCH Evergreen Clinic in Springfield, Mo. Lexi works with children and their families to assist each child in reaching their maximum potential to function independently. To schedule an appointment with Lexi or any of the physical therapists at the OCH Evergreen Clinic, call 417-823-2900, or the OCH Christian County Clinic at 417-724-3004.