Southwest General Hospital

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Torticollis

Physical therapy treatment for children with congential muscular torticollis

Sad ChildSouthwest General's Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Program provides physical therapy treatment for children with congential muscular torticollis.

What is Torticollis?

Congenital muscular torticollis is a condition that occurs in approximately one out of every 300 live births. Usually, torticollis is detected by three months of age but may go undetected until the child is unable to move his or her head freely in both directions.

There are several different causes of torticollis. It may be caused by an over-stretching of the neck muscles during birth, positioning in the womb such as with multiple births, and recent studies indicate that reflux may play a role in developing torticollis.

The overall outcome is a shortening of the sternocleidomastoid muscle on one side of the neck. This causes the child’s head to tilt to one side and his or her face and chin to be turned to the opposite side. Because of the shortened muscle, it is difficult for the child to move his or her head out of this position.

Children with congenital muscular torticollis also may experience flattening or malformation of the head (a condition called plagiocephaly) as a result of being unable to turn the head freely in both directions, which causes constant pressure only on one side of the head.

The physical therapists at Southwest General are experienced in providing rehabilitative care with great skill and compassion for children with torticollis.

Torticollis Requires Skilled Intervention

If left untreated, children with congenital muscular torticollis may have difficulty developing skills with both sides of their body. For example, they may only roll over on one side, reach with one hand, and have difficulty sitting--all because of the weight of their head and because they are always looking in the same direction.

Physical therapy at an early age can be an effective treatment for children with congenital muscular torticollis. At Southwest General, physical therapists work with children and their parents on a combination of positioning options, techniques to gently lengthen the shortened muscles, and exercises to strengthen the opposite muscles.

A Team-Oriented Approach to Treatment

In treating Torticollis, the combined team of physical therapist and parent/care giver are highly instrumental in overcomingthe condition’s debilitating effects.

Physical therapy at an early age can be an effective treatment for children with congenital muscular torticollis. At Southwest General, physical therapists work with children and their parents on a combination of positioning options, techniques to gently lengthen the shortened muscles, and exercises to strengthen the opposite muscles.

We Look Forward to Helping You

 Treatment for Torticollis is provided at LifeWorks of Southwest General, a fitness facility that offers free, surface-level parking and other family-friendly services including fitness memberships and childcare.   It is located at:

7390 Old Oak Blvd.
Middleburg Heights, OH 44130

To learn more about Torticollis treatment at Southwest General, or to schedule an appointment, please call 440-816-8010.

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