Your baby’s development relies in part on their ability to look around freely, but conditions like torticollis can make this difficult. If your child is experiencing torticollis, our caring physical therapists are here to help. Keep reading to find out what torticollis is, how it can impact your baby’s growth, and how it can be treated with pediatric physical therapy.

What Is Torticollis?

Torticollis is a condition where the muscles in a baby’s neck contract and pull their head to one side. This condition is relatively common and can either be present from birth or develop over time. If a baby was born with this condition, their pediatrician or a physical therapist will typically be able to tell as early as 6 to 8 weeks old.

Common Risk Factors of Torticollis

Common factors that can increase a baby’s risk of developing torticollis include:

  • Being born in the breech position
  • Experiencing a traumatic brain injury
  • Getting a neck injury
  • Having a viral infection
  • Being crowded in the uterus (as in multiples)
  • Holding their head in an awkward angle in the uterus

Symptoms of Torticollis

The most obvious sign that a baby has torticollis will be the tilt of their head, but there are other common symptoms including:

  • Neck muscles feel tight
  • Plagiocephaly, or a flat spot on the head
  • Crying or visible frustration
  • Inability to turn their head
  • Breastfeeding infants favor one feeding position

How Torticollis Can Impact a Child’s Growth

Children with torticollis can’t develop their motor skills as effectively as children without this condition because their center of gravity is thrown off by the position of their head. This can impact their balance, coordination, and visual motor skills, making it harder for them to move their bodies and explore their environment. That’s why early intervention is important for your child’s overall development.

How Can Physical Therapy Improve My Child’s Torticollis Symptoms?

Our pediatric occupational therapists are experts in the movements of the body. We use proven therapeutic exercises, techniques, and activities to help stretch and loosen the tight muscles in their neck. We can also give you tips and activities you can do at home with your child to help reduce their torticollis symptoms between therapy sessions. With our one-on-one treatment and your support, we can work together to treat your baby’s torticollis and empower their healthy development.

Benefits of Pediatric Physical Therapy for Torticollis

If your child has torticollis, physical therapy can take care of it. This can lead to other incredible benefits such as:

  1. Stronger gross motor skills
  2. Improved visual tracking skills
  3. Reduced pain
  4. Better ability to play and explore
  5. Reduced risk of plagiocephaly
  6. Increased happiness
  7. Improved quality of life

Schedule Your Child’s Evaluation

Pediatric Therapy Partners has clinics in Bossier and Shreveport, LA, to meet your family’s needs. All you have to do is call us at (318) 746-1199 or fill out the contact form below and our Intake Coordinator will help you schedule your child’s speech therapy evaluation.

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