Torticollis is a condition involving the neck that is often caused when the sternocleidomastoid (one of two muscles arising from the sternum and inner part of the clavicle, also called SCM) muscle is shorter than normal. This often results in a posture where the head tips toward the side of the short muscle, and rotates toward the opposite side.
Why does my child need to use both sides of her body?
It is very important that your baby be able to look about her environment, be able to turn her head and body both sides, use both hands to play and reach for toys, and use both legs to kick and push. A lack of practice and awareness of one side of the body can lead to neglect of that side and ineffective movement with that side of the body. This in turn can lead to long-term asymmetry in body posture and movement.
Children with torticollis often stay in a preferred posture with their head turned in one direction. They may have difficulty looking at people or toys on one side of their body, have difficulty lifting one arm to reach for toys, and have difficulty maintaining a posture with weight on one side of the body. They frequently need help achieving and playing in a variety of postures.
Torticollis can be helped with physical therapy. Your physical therapist will give you specific home program activities in addition to these general recommendations. The home program will include:
- active strengthening exercises
- developmental activities
How to make an appointment: