Information originally from www.MoveForwardPT.com
Torticollis is the tilt and/or rotation of the head because of tight and weak neck muscles. It occurs when the muscle that runs up and toward the back of the neck (the sternocleidomastoid muscle) becomes tight, weakened, or thickened. There are 5 forms of the condition:
Torticollis may lead to additional problems, such as:
An adult, child, or infant may keep the head tilted and/or rotated toward 1 side of the body as attempting to straighten the neck is difficult or painful. For example, if the muscle on the left side of the neck is shortened, weak, or in spasm—the head may tilt toward the left shoulder and rotate toward the right.
There may be tightness in the neck or a noticeable lump in the neck muscle. Pain may or may not be present, depending on the type of torticollis.
Torticollis in adults is generally diagnosed by physicians. Experienced pediatric physical therapists may diagnosis the need for treatment of congenital muscular torticollis and positional torticollis.
Once the type of torticollis is determined, your physical therapist may provide treatment. In most cases, torticollis is a muscular problem, and physical therapists are musculoskeletal experts.
Regardless of the patient’s age, physical therapy is the primary treatment for all forms of torticollis. Physical therapists provide treatment to address the impairments that are caused by torticollis. Early treatment results in the best outcomes.
The physical therapist will work with a child’s caregiver or with an adult patient to develop and reach mutual goals. This may include an individualized treatment plan to:
These goals may be achieved through stretching, strengthening, massage, positioning, taping, and a home exercise program. If not treated, torticollis can become a permanent condition.
“We LOVED our time with CST (Camelback Sports Therapy)! Having a 4 month old that needs PT (Physical Therapy) was very concerning to me but as soon as I met Lauren and the CST staff, I knew we were in good hands! Bo went from only looking one direction to having full range of motion in his neck! He has learned to hold his head in the center and because of that we have avoided needing a helmet which is huge to us! Lauren was so friendly and knew exactly what Bo needed! Whole staff was helpful, friendly, and made our experience so pleasant!
Thank you!” – Chelsea F. – Bo’s Mother
Camelback Sports Therapy offers physical therapy treatment for torticollis for infants and adults. If your child, yourself, or someone you know has, or is showing symptoms of torticollis, contact us and set up an appointment to start treatment!
Give us a call at (234) 602-8989. We look forward to helping you or your child!