Infant torticollis happens when the muscles that connect the breastbone and collarbone to the skull (sternocleidomastoid muscle) are shortened. Because your baby’s neck muscle is shortened on one side of the neck, it pulls their head into a tilt or rotation, and often both.
Why does my baby keep turning his head from side to side?
Some babies find it soothing to shake their head from side to side. They may do this when they are overstimulated, anxious, or trying to fall asleep. Self-soothing is harmless and may help a baby feel less anxious in new situations.
Does torticollis go away?
Congenital muscular torticollis most often goes away on its own by the time the child is 1 year of age. During this time, exercises help stretch the muscle. Your child may see a physical therapist (PT) for stretching.
What are the earliest signs of autism in babies?
The earliest signs of autism involve the absence of typical behaviors—not the presence of atypical ones—so they can be tough to spot. In some cases, the earliest symptoms of autism are even misinterpreted as signs of a “good baby,” since the infant may seem quiet, independent, and undemanding.
What happens if torticollis is not treated?
If left untreated, a baby is at risk for learning to move with his head tilted. This causes a child to use one side of his body more than the opposite side. Torticollis can also cause a baby’s head to flatten on one side, and if left untreated, a curve in the baby’s spine may develop as he grows older.
Can torticollis be permanent?
Sometimes torticollis is permanent (fixed) because of a problem with muscles or bone structure. In rare cases, fixed torticollis is caused by an abnormal area in the back part of the brain or by a tumor in the spinal cord.
Is torticollis serious?
Acquired torticollis can be benign (not serious) or a sign of more serious health issues. Because the causes can be so different, it is very important to act quickly so that your child can get the proper care and treatment.
How do you get rid of torticollis?
Usually there is no treatment for torticollis other than a heat pack, pain relief and massaging the neck. If a baby has torticollis, you may be advised how to position them during feeding and sleeping and shown how to gently move their head to encourage the neck to stretch.