Infant Torticollis

Infant torticollis is the fixed head tilt in a child or infant to one side. Infant torticollis is the over contracture of the sternocleidomastoid muscle (SCM) on one side compared to the other. Usually in minor cases it’s due from child positioning inside the mother’s womb. Other causes are due to a breech delivery or other birth trauma resulting in a hematoma or fibrous mass in the SCM. Plageocephaly which is common with infant torticollis is visually seen as a flattening of the malar prominence and occiput opposite the side of the head tilt.

90% of these cases resolve with proper stretching, therapy and chiropractic care to accelerate the resolution. Rashad Trabulsi DC has treated this on a number of occasions with great success.

If unresolved, it is recommended that if surgery to release the SCM is considered, it should be delayed for at least 1 to 2 years. Also, it is important to refer for an ultrasound or radiograph of the pelvis (after the child is 10 weeks old) to determine whether there is an associated hip dysplasia. In the differential list of possibilities, it is important to rule out other possible causes including infection and spinal cord tumor prior to diagnosing the benign form.

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