Torticollis is a musculoskeletal condition which is characterized by a head tilt or preference in rotation of an infant's head and neck. The word “torticollis” itself comes from two Latin root words, “tortus” and “collum,” that together mean “twisted neck.” This condition, sometimes called wryneck, is relatively common in infants.

In general, torticollis is classified as either congenital (present at birth) or acquired (occurring later in infancy or childhood). By far the most common type is congenital muscular torticollis (CMT). Although children have this when they are born, parents may not notice it until children are several weeks old, as they start to gain more control of their head movement. Congenital muscular torticollis responds very well to physical therapy, especially when treatment is started early. A physical therapist can evaluate and begin treatment for CMT in newborns. Treatment includes stretching, strengthening, positioning, and family education. Early detection and treatment is recommended.

Often times CMT is associated with plagiocephaly. Plagiocephaly is a common and treatable condition in which there is asymmetry in the shape of the skull and facial bones. In infants that have CMT, their neck rotation preference causes excessive pressure on one side of the skull which causes asymmetry in the head shape. Early detection and treatment of plagiocephaly is key as the average window for treatment is 4-12 months.

K.I.D.S. Therapy Associates, Inc. has licensed physical therapists who are experienced in congenital muscular torticollis and plagiocephaly. The physical therapists will be able to evaluate and recommend the appropriate treatment plan for you and your child.