Torticollis in a child: symptoms, causes, conservative treatment

Torticollis in a child. It seems that such deviation is in the child’s development cannot be overlooked! It turns out that you can! I’ll share with the readers of women’s website “” its history.

As I suspected torticollis?

I began to notice that attracted the attention of my little daughter, she stopped, turning her head to the left and watched, transfixed, his eyes fixed and without changing the position of the head. In the same way she reacted to strangers – head fell to the right shoulder, face turned left, looked, and she was taken carefully to consider the new person — such a strange confused look the little man, learning the world.

“My baby’s all right!” — I kept repeating to herself. – “She look so curious,” — tried to convince herself.

Then quietly began to creep into doubt, and if she was right eye? Went to the eye doctor. On consultation we were told that everything is in order and I stopped paying attention to the strange turn of the head.

In the summer we had a trip to visit relatives who have never seen my little girl. I am proud to show them to her daughter: she turns her head, presses his cheek to the shoulder and begins to consider them.

The first question that asked the native: “And don’t you think that the child has torticollis?” I started to convince everyone that she can’t be torticollis that she was already a year and a half, and torticollis in a child is only at an early age and, in the end, we went to the pediatrician at the local clinic and she said nothing.

“Once again show the child a good specialist never hurts!” — having decided, we went to a good children’s diagnostic center for a consultation with a neurologist. I went to the office, the doctor looked up at my daughter: “You are about torticollis in a child?” “Yes, timidly I replied,’ here we are told that self-will…” — not knowing how not to lose hope, that’s not so bad, I said, not even admitting to the doctor that I did not know about this diagnosis. “Remember torticollis in a child never in my life myself not pass!”

I will not describe our further conversation, the doctor’s opinion about their colleagues in our local clinic in the first place, and about me experienced mother of three children, which is not noticed deviations in the physical development of your baby, too.

Now I can tell about what is torticollis in children, symptoms and most importantly, how to determine torticollis in a child and how to treat it. This information I will share with you.

Torticollis in a child: consultation of the orthopedist

The following advice was at the podiatrist. It is, of course, torticollis, too, immediately noticed, and was sent for x-rays of the cervical spineto deliver a more accurate diagnosis. After all, there are several types of torticollis, some of which are difficult to treat.

With the picture in hand we went to see the doctor. Having carefully considered it, she said that we have “installation right muscular torticollis”.

“Calm down, mommy, the diagnosis is not the worst. Systematic massage, exercise and wearing the collar of the Trench should do the trick. Worse would be if you had a different diagnosis. And with that you can try to do without surgery. Although you almost two years…And torticollis better to treat to years old”.

Aware — is forearmed

The first thing I do next — start, carefully study the information about torticollis in a child. I’m not going to describe complex medical terms, and tell us as I understand.

Torticollis in a child: how is it determined? Torticollis is easier to notice when you look at the child from behind.

Torticollis is left or right side, rarely bilateral. It was hard for me to understand why my child is diagnosed with “right-sided torticollis“if she turns her head to the left.

It turns out that to determine what the child’s torticollis, it is possible, based on a benchmark: the head leans to the affected side (presses cheek to shoulder), and rotates in the opposite, healthy side. The child is hard to turn your head to the side of the restrained muscle, so he turns that way, where it’s easy – in the opposite direction.

So, remember – turns his head to the healthy side. This is very important, as performing gymnastic exercises with torticollis, which we describe next, you should pay more attention to the affected side. For me personally it was difficult to navigate at first.

Torticollis in a child: what is it?

Torticollis is a disease that occurs when disrupted one of the muscles in the neck, or there is pathology in the structure of the cervical spine. Such torticollis treats orthopedic surgeon, it’s called orthopedic.

To observe and to treat torticollis can also neurologist (if the disease is associated with neurological impairment of muscle). It is called neurological.

Orthopedic torticollis is more common. It is divided into muscle and bone.

  • Bone torticollis in a child is more dangerous – the baby’s head takes a comfortable position (tilt) due to the fact that there are anomalies in the cervical spine. This can be the fusion of vertebrae or extension of the vertebrae. Correct it is very difficult, but, fortunately, bone torticollis occurs less frequently than the muscle. To exclude or confirm the diagnosis by doing x-ray.
  • Muscular torticollis in a child, or a more accurate name — intramuscular torticollis (VMK) in the child: the name of the diagnosis speaks for itself. If bone torticollis muscle is not working fully because of the violation of the structure of the cervical vertebrae – the boneswhen the muscle is not working only muscle (no abnormality of the cervical vertebra is not).

This muscle is called the sternocleidomastoid. It is stretches obliquely on the side of the neck, from the clavicle and the sternum through the neck and ends below the ear – in the area of temporal and occipital bones. It is located on both sides of the neck. Torticollis, this muscle on the one hand underdeveloped – short, stiff, dense. It does not work fully, is not fulfilling its main functions – the tilt of the head, its raising and rotation is limited.

Congenital torticollis

Krivoshey you can be born with congenital torticollis in a child, or purchase acquired torticollis in a child.

Congenital torticollis develops during pregnancy when the fetus is not in the correct fixed position, or a entanglement umbilical cord, oligohydramnios – all these factors that limit the movement of the neck, the head of the child in the womb.

Also the cause of congenital torticollis can be fetal infection, pathology in the structure of the pelvic organs, genetic abnormalities, chromosomal diseases.

Develops congenital torticollis in a child like this: in the result of malposition of the fetus or injury during childbirth, the newborn there is a spasm in the neck, the muscle is shortened on the affected side, the head inclined — takes a comfortable position not to feel pain. After a few days the pain disappears, and the position of the head remains the same – a shortened muscle does not want to change their situation.

A child is born with congenital disorders, which continues to develop quickly: muscle does not work, head bowed, torticollis have a month old baby already clearly visible. Pediatrician during the inspection will see this and will prescribe a course of massage to help the muscle to occupy the desired position. Sometimes strangulated muscle can be felt seal ball (just a few days after birth), later seal disappears.

Acquired torticollis

  • Acquired torticollis in a child occurs as a result of injuries, which occur when a difficult birth: the use of auxiliary tools for extracting the baby, the dislocation of the clavicle at birth, breech presentation, induction of labor, etc.
  • Acquired torticollis can occur at a later age: if the baby sleeps on one side, you are wrong to wear it on the hands (usually in the same position), the child watches to one side (in the direction of toys, light source), etc.
  • Acquired torticollis can occur as a result of injuries to the neck (burns and further scarring, which limits the rotation of the head), etc., and neurologic diseases.

Before I started to learn all about this disease, I thought that torticollis may develop in a child 2-3 months old, but older babies will not have. That is, to change side while sleeping, your head should be regularly up to 3 months. After that, the child can sleep how he’s comfortable. How wrong I was!

My daughter loved to sleep on my right side…and I so it was very convenient co-sleeping, breastfeeding on demand. Tried to adjust the feeding regime so that on the night the left breast – the baby not to shift, not to Wake and not to disturb once again. So we had a right-sided muscular torticollis.

In diagnosis clarification – the installation, that is acquired due to prolonged fixed position of the head.

There are other types of muscular torticollis in a child is all connected with the defeat of the work of the sternocleidomastoid muscle that needs to get to work. This is the treatment of torticollis in a child.

Torticollis in a child: what to do?
Massage torticollis

To start treatment as soon as possible after diagnosis.

The first thing is to appoint a physician is conservative treatment, if, however, after no positive results, the torticollis is corrected only by surgery.

Conservative treatment includes massage in the first place, treatment status and special gymnastic exercises. Also practice the treatment of torticollis physical therapy on the exercise ball, and exercises in the water.

Going for first massage course, I decided that I would closely monitor how do massage torticollis in a child to the house to help my baby.

But it’s not so simple. Movements that do not massage the affected muscle on the right side differed from those that were massirovala left side. As she explained to me, the purpose of the massage is different for the left and right side.

So a layman this massage can not do. In addition she told me not to even try to do massage at home, as I was able to tone or relax the muscles where it is not necessary.

But a special exercise on the contrary you had to run home in 3 – 4 times a day. I will gladly share my findings with readers Exercise I’ve adapted slightly turned to the game. Well, what else can you do with a toddler at this age does not touch your head just so?

Torticollis in a child: exercises

The complex includes exercises that are designed to force to work muscles of the neck: head tilts, head turns, pressing the shoulders and so We do the next exercise.

  • Who’s there?

The child is on a hard surface (we have this changing table), lying on the back. The head hangs down. Raise the head and look, and there in my mom’s hands? At this time, hold some picture. To lock the position, trying to see where the dogs eyes, nose, mouth, etc. Sometimes just a few times raising and lowering the head. Well, when someone from the family will hold the forearm and locking arms along the body.

  • Tick-tock

The child turns on the healthy side. Head still hanging, just to the side. The muscle on the right side is stretched. A little spring down, saying “tick – tick — tick”, raise exactly “so”.

  • Ay – ay – ay

A child stands, hands down. Head holding her steady hands. Do three head tilt to the healthy side, to the ear leaned to the shoulder (“ow”) and once in the sick — ay.

  • No, no, Yes, Yes

Please repeat after me. Turn the head to the right 3 times, say “no”. Then left — no. Then nod your head up and down, “Yes, Yes, Yes”.

Please note that in the last two exercises observed asymmetry of movements – more tilt and turns towards the affected side. In my case the right.

  • Hello

Hold the baby on hands in knees, the person from yourself. Lean forward, arms at side, say “Hello!”. Rise. It strains the muscles of the neck.

  • The plane flies

The child in my arms in position side lying. The head hangs down. Whirling with the words: “the Plane flies, the plane is buzzing”. The head while hanging in a healthy way, pulling the muscle of the affected side. Do three times to the left, once to the right.

Exercises on the fitball

Following the advice of our masseuses, we purchased the fitball large diameter – 85 see Now it’s a favorite of our trainer (by the way, and mom, too). On it we also performed all the exercises mentioned above, as well as jump, rise from the prone position (on back, on stomach), collect toys and drop them, throwing her arms up, pruginin on the side so that head was hanging, and more that enough for my imagination – most importantly, to the muscles of the neck were working. And she loves football the ball head, while hanging upside down in my arms. I think that’s her favorite exercise.

Treatment status

Also during the day must comply with the special recommendations in order to get the head to stick right. Since my child is an adult, and most of the time on my feet, we podiatrist prescribed wear without removing the collar of the Trench. This special foam Velcro armband, top upholstered in natural fabric. Its height is the height of the baby’s neck, in the chin area has a special recess. She wears on the neck, supports the head, fixing its correct position.

That is, in this bandage, the child can not position the head in the usual prior to her situation was bad, with tilt and turn. The head should stay straight.

To sleep in this collar – the collar between a mommy – friendly. At least my daughter hasn’t taken it off once. He did not interfere. Rather, I tried most of it off with her because it was pitiful to see. But then I also recognize, and we wear it now almost all the time, removing only for therapeutic physical training and swimming.

Younger children treatment status performed all the time while in bed use special bags, which are placed under the healthy side of the head and make it impossible to turn the head to one side. Or use a cushion in the form of a doughnut or horseshoes, when the head is fixed in the correct position.

Baby are recommended to sleep exactly on the back, without a pillow, hard mattress.

If the baby likes to sleep on your side (as in my case), you should observe some simple rules: if he sleeps on the healthy side, under the head did not put, and if sick, then a high pillow, so that the muscle in my neck stretched.

We remind you again that the treatment status is used all the time: keep the baby in her arms, pressed her cheek to his ailing side and straighten his head, playing with toys, serve it with the restrained hand that is strongly provoke movement in the affected side. The approach to the crib also needs to be that way, the baby turned his head towards the patient muscle.

Instead of a conclusion

I know that the success of treatment largely depends on me. I don’t want my girl had complicationsthat cause this disease.

In addition to physical disability, which may develop inferiority complex in youth, torticollis the child’s threat is much more dire consequences:

  • Deformity of the spine
  • Scoliosis
  • Kyphoscoliosis
  • Facial asymmetry
  • Eye diseases – strabismus
  • ENT diseases
  • Fatigue
  • Migraine
  • Neurological pathology
  • Intracranial pressure etc.

Soon we will have another course of massage. I truly believe that my love and daily sessions with the child, and also experienced hands of the masseur will help to manage on their own – without surgical intervention, which is practiced for the treatment of torticollis in children after 2 – 3 years of age.

The author – Julia Spiridonova, site

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