We have discussed torticollis a few times over the last several months.
We highlighted the 5 common signs of Torticollis. To recap, those are as follows:
- Always looking in the same direction
- Head tilting
- Feeding difficulties
- Flattening of the head
- Facial asymmetry
As stated in the last article, torticollis has become more prevalent with babies spending more time on their backs. But there are things you can do to help prevent it.
We also looked at ways to prevent torticollis. To recap, some ideas are as follows:
- Alternate feeding positions
- Alternate sleeping positions
- Alternate which side of the crib or car seat toys are placed
- Tummy Time
- Key is variety and symmetry
Now we will discuss the importance of early detection and treatment of torticollis and outcomes.
The American Physical Therapy Association Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy published an updated evidenced-based clinical practice guideline for the management of congenital muscular torticollis. Early identification and treatment for torticollis with physical therapy is imperative for early correction, early identification of developmental delay and other asymmetry, and to prevent future complications.
The research found:
- When treatment starts at <1 month of age normal range of motion returned within 1.5 months
- When treatment begins after 1 month of age it can take 6 months to regain normal range of motion
- When you wait until they are 6 months of age it can take 9-10 months to achieve full neck range of motion
Don’t worry if you haven’t done anything yet, just don’t put it off any longer!
Torticollis has been associated with:
- Cranial deformation
- Developmental dysplasia of the hip
- Brachial plexus injury
- Motor delays
- Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
Therefore, the earlier identified, the earlier treated, and the better outcome for the infant.
We also recently talked about how to use a Therapy Ball for treating Torticollis!
If you have more questions, please come and see us, we would love to help!
Reference: Kaplan SL, Coulter C, Sargent B. Physical therapy management of congenital muscular torticollis: a 2018 evidence-based clinical practice guideline from the APTA academy of pediatric physical therapy. Pediatr Phys Ther. 2018;30:240-290.