The treatment for torticollis need not always be surgical. Notice how the face turns away from the tight muscle. In newborns, torticollis can happen due to positioning in the womb or after a difficult childbirth.
SCM is a long oblique muscle originating from two points, each from the sternum chest bone and clavicle collarbone. However, the problem lies in the ocular muscles, which are responsible for the movement of the eyeballs.
Stretches help release the tension in the SCM muscle and expand it back to its normal shape.
The surgery lengthens the sternocleidomastoid muscle and corrects the torticollis. Here's how to do it:.
It will make the biggest difference. Nevertheless, parents can look for the following signs of probable torticollis:. Read more. This is called infant torticollis or congenital muscular torticollis.
As always, you can give us a call in the office if you have any questions or concerns. When putting your baby down to sleep, position him or her to face the wall while facing the direction they like to look.
If stretching treatment fails, surgery may be the next option, but typically cannot be performed until the baby reaches pre-school age around 4 years of age.
Some babies with congenital torticollis also have developmental dysplasia of the hip—a condition in which the head of the thighbone is not held firmly in the hip socket. Remember, a parent must never attempt head stretch and neck movement on the baby without medical guidance and training.
If torticollis is a problem in itself, it could be treated in one of the below methods:. Eventually he developed flattening on the back of his head on the right side, because he always had more pressure on the right side of the back of his head. Despite the tautness of the SCM muscle, torticollis is mostly painless, and infants only feel the discomfort caused by a stiff neck position.
If your baby does have torticollis, the doctor might teach you neck stretching exercises to practice at home. This type of torticollis is referred to as "acquired" torticollis and may be associated with a variety of conditions that require specialized treatment. Asymmetries of the head and face, indicating plagiocephaly , may also be present.