When a baby presents with torticollis they will typically have a head tilt to one side while the chin tilts in the opposite direction or they are leaning more to one side or the other. This condition is actually a lot more common that one would think. Over 45,000 infants are born with congenital torticollis in the US each year. Torticollis usually develops due to problems of the upper spine and/or the muscles and nerves located in the neck. This can occur for many different reasons but more commonly we’ve seen it because of a difficult birth process or even just poor positioning of the baby in the womb.
You may think that this condition is strictly a biomechanical or structural problem, but there is actually a huge neurological component. Any sort of upper neck misalignment will irritate the nerves in that area, this can lead to spasm of the muscles of the neck causing that head tilt to occur.
So you may be asking yourself what can be done?! Well as a Chiropractor, my main goal is to remove those misalignments so that the nerves can properly communicate with the muscles of the neck and relax the spasm. I have had the privilege of working with many babies who presented with torticollis. I use a combination of spinal adjustments (which on babies are very delicate), cranial re-alignment and soft tissue therapies in order to produce rapid resolution. I prefer to get started on removing these misalignments as soon as possible to avoid it progressing to plagiocephaly. However sometimes it takes a while before the parents even realize there is a head tilt. The longer this condition persists the longer it takes to remove, so the sooner the better. And it may seem like a lot but the more frequently we get to see the baby or kid in the beginning the better and faster resolution will occur.
If you have any questions or concerns about torticollis or would just like more information on what we do feel free to email or call us!