If your child’s head seems to be constantly tilted to one side, they may have torticollis. While this isn’t necessarily a painful condition, it can impact your child’s development and overall quality of life. Keep reading to learn more about what torticollis is, why it should be treated, and how pediatric physical therapy can help.

What Is Torticollis?

Torticollis is a condition where the neck muscles cause the head to tilt or turn to one side. It’s a common condition in babies and young children that often happens due to tight or short neck muscles restricting head movement. While we aren’t sure why some children develop short neck muscles, we do know that there are two types of torticollis:

  • Congenital torticollis, which is the most common type and occurs from birth.
  • Acquired torticollis, which is less common and usually develops between 4-6 months old (but can also occur later).

Signs and Symptoms of Torticollis

The most common signs or symptoms of torticollis include:

  • Tilted or rotated head position
  • Difficulty turning the head in both directions
  • One shoulder is higher than the other
  • Uneven facial features
  • Stiffness or tension in neck muscles
  • Swelling in the neck muscles

What Happens if Torticollis Isn’t Treated?

Untreated torticollis can lead to long-term consequences for your child’s development and their overall wellbeing. While this condition may not be painful, it is uncomfortable, and your child relies on their sight and head position to learn important skills like balance and coordination. With their head tilted to one side, they will struggle to gain those developmental skills. This can impact their overall growth and confidence as they get older.

How Can I Prevent Torticollis in My Child?

There is no known way to prevent torticollis, but early intervention can help correct this condition fast so your child can enjoy playing and exploring. One tip that may be helpful in reducing the risk of torticollis is to ensure your baby gets plenty of tummy time to build strength in their neck and shoulder muscles.

Free Developmental Screening

If you’re concerned about your child’s development, you can take advantage of our free online developmental screening. This tool is a convenient way for parents to know with certainty if your child is achieving their developmental milestones or if they need extra support to achieve their brightest future.

Take our free developmental screening

Contact Us Now To Schedule An Appointment!

Contact Us Form