Torticollis and Plagiocephaly

Torticollis can be present from birth or appear at any age. Torticollis is the abnormal positioning of the head and neck because of a muscle imbalance (either tight and/or weak muscles). Torticollis isn’t life threatening. However, if this condition is left untreated it can lead to delays in their gross motor skills (eg. crawling) and unintegrated primitive reflexes.

What caused it?

  • Your child’s positioning in utero
  • Your child was breech during delivery
  • Your child has a diastasis recti
  • Always placing your child in the same position when they are in their crib, changing table and playpen

What are signs to look for?

  • Your child’s head tilts to one side.
  • Your child has trouble breastfeeding on one side or has a preference.
  • Your child prefers to look over their shoulder when they are looking at you.
  • Your child’s head doesn’t turn side to side or up and down easily.
  • Your child has a soft lump in their neck.
  • Your child might start developing a flat head on one side (or both) from lying in one position all the time. This is called Plagiocephaly/Brachycephaly or Flat head syndrome.

How to prevent it?

  • Alternate the positioning of their head during play time to accumulate an equal amount of time on both sides.
  • Change the positioning of your child during feeding.
  • Carry your child in different positions throughout the day or use baby wearing wraps or slings.
  • Switch the head positioning during naps as best as you can.

In a nutshell

How can we help your child?

  • Assessing your child using a whole body approach
  • Developing a program specific to your child’s needs including stretches and strengthening exercises
  • Educating families to empower them with tools they and use at home and approach issues with confidence
  • Providing positioning tips and tricks 
  • Treating using TMR techniques
  • Releasing the muscles involved using a fascia release technique