ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Torticollis and Your Baby

Updated on September 30, 2010

What is Torticollis?

Congenital Torticollis is a common condition in infants, in which one of the muscles in the neck is shortened. Infants born with torticollis may not show signs of the condition immediately. Most physicians think that torticollis is caused by either the trauma of birth, or crowding in the womb.

A child with torticollis will have limited mobility in the neck, causing him to hold his head to one side. In very young infants, you may notice that your baby only turns his head in one direction when lying on his back.

The shortened muscle can also be hard and stiff, causing what appears to be a lump in the baby's neck on the affected side. You may only notice this lump when your baby turns his head, and some parents do not notice it at all.

What exactly is the neck lump? The lump in your baby's neck is just a hard, shortened muscle. The lump itself is nothing to worry about, and it should go away on its own within a few months. You do need to have the torticollis treated, though.

How Do I Know My Baby Has Torticollis?

Only a physician can positively diagnose your baby, but these are the symptoms to look for:

  • A hard lump in the neck
  • Inability or unwillingness to turn the head to one side
  • Raised shoulder on one side (only in more severe cases)
  • Tendency to hold the head at an angle when looking forward
  • Constant turning of the head toward one armpit

Does my baby have torticollis?

view quiz statistics

How is Torticollis Treated?

 Your pediatrician can refer you to a physical therapist. The earlier you discover the condition, the better. Typical treatment during the first two years of life will include:

  • Stretching the muscle: A trained professional should show you how to perform exercises with your baby to gently stretch the shortened muscle in the neck. Stretches should be done gently, and typically are not painful for your baby, though he may become impatient with the process.
  • Occupational therapy: You should actively encourage your baby to turn his head in both directions, especially toward the side he does not prefer. These activities can include putting his favorite toys on that side, playing with him on that side, and positioning him differently in his bed.
  • Strengthening exercises: The affected side of your baby's head, neck, and shoulder may be weaker, and he may favor it. Strengthening exercises mostly involve encouraging your baby to use the affected arm and hand, and encouraging him to use that side of his body during "tummy time." The goal is to have equal strength and dexterity on both sides of the body.

If early treatment is not done, or is not successful, there are other methods of treatment that may be considered:

  • Botox Injections: Injections of botox in the muscle can help it to relax.
  • Surgical correction: An orthopaedic surgeon can correct the affected muscle.

What is the Prognosis?

 If treated early, your baby will likely have no life-long effects from this condition. Once the muscle improves, the condition is healed.

If your baby sleeps on one side of his head all the time, he may develop plagiocephaly: a condition where one side of the head is flattened. To prevent this, you should encourage your baby to lay on both sides of his head equally. Talk to your pediatrician if you become concerned about plagiocephaly.

Without proper treatment, your baby will have limited mobility in his head, neck, and shoulder, and may suffer nerve damage if the muscles compress the nerves in the area.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)