Is Torticollis Affecting Your Baby’s Head Shape?
Torticollis, or wry neck, is a relatively common condition in newborn babies. Translated from the Latin, it literally means ‘twisted neck’. It can be present at birth, or may take up to three months to develop. Babies with the condition will find it hard to turn their neck.
Torticollis: what should I look out for in my baby?
If your baby shows any of these symptoms, then they may be experiencing Torticollis:
- tilting their head in one preferred direction;
- looking at you over one shoulder rather than turning to follow you with their eyes;
- finding it difficult to breast feed on one side, to the extent that they seem to prefer one breast over the other;
- getting frustrated because they cannot turn their head completely.
The condition normally gets better with simple position changes and stretching exercises. However, if not corrected, then some babies with Torticollis will also develop flat head syndrome. This is because they will lie in bed at the same angle all the time. At the London Orthotic Consultancy, we have found that Torticollis is the primary cause of flat heads in the babies that we examine. It is important, therefore, to take action to treat your baby’s Torticollis - either by following some simple, gentle neck exercises at home, or by referral to a specialist physiotherapist.
How can I help my baby overcome Torticollis?
If we find that your baby has a neck problem at an initial, free flat head consultation, we will advise you on the steps that you can take. We can also refer you to a paediatric physiotherapist. Stretching exercises are most likely to work well if started when a baby is between three and six months of age. But, be aware that even if started at this age, it still might take some months to ‘cure’ the condition completely.
If your baby has developed moderate or severe asymmetry of the head, helmet therapy will probably be the recommended treatment option, since the optimum age to start this treatment is between four to six months and after 18 months of age, the treatment becomes less effective. Helmet therapy can be started concurrently with any physiotherapy for Torticollis, as the helmet will prevent the baby’s head from getting any flatter. The London Orthotic Consultancy has more than a decade of experience in treating Positional Plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome), and baby helmet therapy is a proven, effective treatment.
Worried about your baby’s head shape?
Using our flat head diagnosis form, you can get a fast, free, flat head diagnosis from our fully-qualified orthotics team online.
Simply follow the instructions on our form to upload pictures of your baby’s head and one of our highly-experienced orthotists will contact you within 24 hours to give you a free, qualified and impartial opinion on your baby’s condition. Or, if you prefer, you can book an initial, free flat head consultation at one of our clinics, where we will be happy to make an assessment and offer advice and discuss any necessary treatment.