Infant Torticollis

Unlocking comfort and nurturing health:
Cotlew St. Osteopathy – your partner in Infant Torticollis solutions. 

Infant Torticollis though common, can be a source of concern for parents. This condition, characterised by a tilting and rotation of the baby’s head, can impact their comfort and development. 

So what exactly is Infant Torticollis and what can I do? 

Infant Torticollis, often referred to as a wry neck, is a condition where the baby’s neck muscles, typically the Sternocleidomastoid muscle, becomes tight or shortened. This results in the baby having difficulty in turning their head in one direction, leading to a noticeable tilt or rotation. 

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There are two main types of torticollis: 

Postural Torticollis

This is where the infant has a preferred posture either left or right. Infants can turn their heads to both sides but really like just one direction, often their body is also in a banana bend. These babies can spontaneously resolve with increased movements, tummy time and positioning alone. If after 3-4 weeks it hasn’t resolved, then manual therapy may be indicated. 

Congenital Muscular Torticollis

This is where the infants have a permanent tilt and opposite rotation of the neck and they can’t turn their head both ways. They often have tightness in the neck muscles and only look over one shoulder. It is advisable to consult your healthcare professional such as Cotlew St. Osteopathy, for an assessment and tailored solution for this type of torticollis. 

Osteopathic treatment for Infant Torticollis involves a comprehensive case history, examination, and hands on techniques. These techniques aim to reduce muscle tension, improve mobility, and foster proper development. Additionally, parents will be guided on exercises or activities to do at home, or for the severe cases (or other forms of torticollis) you will be referred to your GP. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

There are several factors that may contribute to Infant Torticollis. These can include positioning in the womb, traumatic birth experiences including forceps delivery, or issues with the baby’s neck muscles. While some cases may resolve with time and gentle exercises, intervention is recommended in persistent cases.

It is advisable for parents to seek treatment as soon as they recognize Infant Torticollis. Early intervention is beneficial for addressing the underlying issues. Delayed treatment may lead to further musculoskeletal imbalances and may take longer to manage. 

Yes, there are simple exercises that can be performed at home. Gentle positioning, tummy time, and using play to encourage baby to turn their head in both directions may be beneficial. 

Click on the pdf page below for a general home care guide for parents on infant positioning. 

A home care guide for parents on infant positioning.

Appropriate and specific exercises will be considered as part of an individualised plan when consulting with Cotlew St. Osteopathy. 

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The benefits of choosing Cotlew St. Osteopathy

Dr Victoria McLelland is an experienced Osteopath with 18 years of fostering a special interest in treating newborns and children. She has a solid understanding of infant milestones and development, a holistic approach to considering the child and family dynamics and aims to produce a welcoming and supportive environment so each child feels comfortable. 

Her techniques are age appropriate with a focus on treating the root cause.

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Don’t let Infant Torticollis hinder your baby’s journey of growth

Schedule a consultation with Victoria at Cotlew St. Osteopathy today and let us be your partners in unlocking comfort for your little one. 

Contact us now and book your child’s appointment to greater freedom of neck movement.