I frequently get calls from worried mothers concerned that their baby keeps her head turned preferentially to one side. Attentive Mothers will discover Congenital Muscular Torticollis in their baby when breast feeding because the child will have difficulty feeding on either the left or right breast.
A series of simple palpation and motion tests by the Osteopath will determine if there is reduced mobility in head turning. Many times concerned parents come to our clinic with a diagnosis of Torticollis from their baby’s pedestrian.
The causes of Torticollis are not always clear. It could result from cramping of the fetus in the uterus or a traumatic delivery as when, forceps or suction is used. Torticollis may present at birth or manifest up 3 months after birth. Symptoms may be mild to severe.
I have found that in most cases Torticollis resolves within 2 – 4 treatments depending upon severity. The treatments are very gentle and babies rarely complain. Mother’s are delighted when their baby is no longer frustrated and feeding properly on both sides.
Home treatment exercises are also part of the program. We encourage parents to place themselves on the restricted side and encourage their baby to turn her head towards the restriction. Regular tummy time is also a good idea which strengthens the neck muscles.
In the majority of cases, between osteopathic treatment and home treatment Torticollis in your baby will completely resolve itself and baby will return to her happy and giggling self in short order!
By: Eddy Basch D.O.