Torticollis In Baby | Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment

Torticollis In BabyTorticollis baby

Torticollis in a baby is the twisting of due as the sternocleidomastoid muscle shortens. Sternocleidomastoid muscles rise from two different points the sternum (chest bone) and the clavicle (collarbone).

This muscle is present in both the sides of the head and the shortening of the muscle in any one side cause the head to tilt towards that side. Thus it’s causing torticollis in the baby.

In Latin torticollis is known as the twisted neck. Torticollis is also known as “wry neck” in babies.

Many times the reason behind torticollis is that the baby prefers to keep to move the head towards one side only.

The breastfeeding positions and the sleeping position can also be the contributor to this situation.

Torticollis Definition:

Torticollis is a dystonic condition, which is an abnormal or awry position of the head or neck. There can be a variety of reasons behind torticollis, such as the shortening of the sternocleidomastoid muscle.

There can be various factors responsible for the happening of this imbalance such as the posture of the baby, which includes the sleeping position, breastfeeding position, or the preference of the baby in rotating the head towards a particular side only.

There are various positions associated with this problem such as laterocollis, anterocollis, retrocollis, rotational retrocollis.

Torticollis Causes:

There are various torticollis causes due to which this problem arises. torticollis arises due to the imbalance in the size of the sternocleidomastoid muscle.

There are numerous causes behind this problem. though this is such a disorder which can be inherited too. Another reason behind this disorder may be due to the blockage or improper blood supply to the neck muscles.

Many times the condition may be of idiopathic torticollis as the cause behind wryness is not known. one of the biggest and the most common reason behind torticollis is due to improper posture taken by the baby while breastfeeding, sleeping.

Many times, sleeping on the back leads to wry neck as the baby prefers to keep the head on one side. this may also happen due to improper cushioning or mattress.

Torticollis Symptoms:

Torticollis in a baby is a situation which is one of the most common disorders among babies and infants. there are various reasons and factors responsible for this situation.

Symptoms for this situation can be observed in babies, this may help in dealing with the situation as early as possible.

Symptoms for torticollis in baby involves such as the tilt in the neck of the baby and the preference by the baby to keep the head in one direction.

Involuntary and abnormal movement of the eyes and the tongue such as the eyes may be rolling up and the tongue may come out.

You can also find cramps and stress in the muscles of the baby. the baby might have back pain, neck pain.

Torticollis Baby Exercises:

Torticollis is a problem which is found in babies due to lack of proper development of the neck muscles. Some torticollis baby exercises and stretches can help the baby in dealing with this problem.

  1.  Head turns and movements: The main reason behind torticollis in a baby is the improper and imbalanced movements of the neck. This stretch involves stretching towards the opposite side of the neck area which is affected. keep in mind to keep the stretches gentle. also rotate the head towards the affected area, while keeping a hand on the opposite side of the neck.
  2.  Movements in the crib: Crib movements and activities are a very important part of baby’s development. tummy time and sleeping on the neck helps the baby to develop. try some practices such as placing a toy or something which attracts the baby, place it on the opposite side of the tilt.
  3. Upper-body flexing & tummy time: This involves flexing the upper body, stretching the neck muscles opposite and towards the affected area. Tummy time also has its own importance in the development as well as in the treatment of torticollis.

Torticollis Treatment:

Torticollis involves imbalanced growth of the neck muscles; torticollis treatment involves stretches, exercises that are practiced to bring evenness in the neck muscles development.

Torticollis treatment also involves physical therapies given by a therapist. Other than that a flat head pillow can be used, which is very helpful in developing the head shape and also helpful in controlling the problem of torticollis arising out of sleeping posture problem.

In treating the torticollis many a time the condition of your baby may be serious and might be in the need of muscle release surgery.

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