What is Torticollis? Can Physical Therapy help that condition?
“Congenital Muscular Torticollis “ is a Unilateral contracture of the sternocleidomastoid muscles in the neck (Campbell, 1995). Some theories for the cause of Torticollis are that it results from intrauterine or perinatal compartment syndrome. Multiple births (twin, triplets) commonly result in a child with torticollis.
The child with Torticollis presents with the head tilted to the side of the shortened sternocleidomastoid muscle (SCM) and the chin rotated to the opposite side (Campbell, 1995). Limitations present with lateral neck flexion to the uninvolved side and rotation to the involved side. The condition may be noted at birth or a few weeks to months later. It's also possible for a palpable mass to exist in the affected SCM muscle.
A pediatrician or family doctor can give a prescription for the child with Torticollis to receive physical therapy. The physical therapist works on treatment for active and passive stretching of the involved muscle and strengthening for the opposite SCM muscle. The PT can teach the parents proper positioning for the child to improve the condition.
The physical therapist can also do equilibrium exercises with the older infant to help. Most of the torticollis cases do resolve with conservative treatment.
Melissa Prestipino, DPT
Sparta Fit For Life - Therapeutics Unlimited Rehab