Experience with Torticollis

Updated on April 27, 2010
N.K. asks from Albuquerque, NM
14 answers

My son is about 2 months old and my husband and I, as well as a good friend of mine, recently noticed that he tends to tilt his head to the right side, yet he can move his head in both directions. I think it may be torticollis and am actually taking him to the doctor on Wednesday. I was just wondering if anyone has experience with this and if so, what helped the situation and long-term outcomes/lasting effects. Thanks!

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So What Happened?

Thanks to those who responded to my question - I really appreciate it! Well I took him to the doctor today and after a thorough examination he does not think that my son has torticollis. There are no lumps, he freely moves his head in both directions, no tightness, etc., He said I could get his eyes examined by a specialist just to make sure that is not causing him to tilt his head towards the right, so we are going to do that. The doctor thinks it might just be to his positioning during sleep, changing his diaper, etc. - where all the action takes place to his right side, so we are going to switch those things around. Hopefully that will help. Thanks again everyone for your input!

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answers from Phoenix on

My son was born 6 weeks early with a severe case of torticollis. His spine was pulled to the left and his rib cage was shifted off center. We took him to a chiropractor starting at 5 weeks and had to do muscle therapy with him 5 times a day. He is 6 years old now and you would never know he was so crooked!!! Start with his pediatrician and have him seen by a chiropractor. They will advise you if he also needs physical therapy. Good Luck and don't worry too much. It doesn't sound as severe as my son was and he is great now.

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answers from Kansas City on

my daughter had it around that age also she is 3 now we went to physical therapy for a few months and it seemed to go away. Good Luck

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answers from Chicago on

Take him to the chiropractor. My daughter is older and suffered from this, her chiro did a great job. I also know of an infant who went to the chiro as well for the same problem and it helped.

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answers from Phoenix on

I suggest you take him to the dr. Our son also had it. They gave us exercises to do, and the earlier you start them the better. i wish we hadn't waited. check into it soon!



answers from Austin on

My daughter had this. It's just like a crick in our neck. I massaged her neck and shoulders daily and also went to a chiropractor. She was about 2 months old when it started. Just make sure when you are nursing or feeding him that you change directions often. Dont let him turn in one direction all the time.



answers from New York on

put the baby on her back straight facing you. tilt her head to one said (towards the shoulder/not too hard, and count 1-2-3-4-5, then do it to the other side), a few times a day, a few times on each side. you should see improvement within a few weeks. also ask the ped. to give you a referral to a physical therapist. my daughter had it, it also caused flat head, but the exercises at home and a few times a week w/therapist corrected torticollis.



answers from Phoenix on

My niece had it. The doctor gave them some stretches and such to do with her. They monitored her and it was gone in a short amount of time. She's almost 3 now and has no lasting effects from it.



answers from Washington DC on

I have a cousin who had torticollis. It was gone after a few months with the physical therapist. PTs work with the muscles whereas chiropractors work with the spine so I would send him to a PT because it is a muscular problem. PTs would be able to give you exercises and ways to encourage him to use muscles on both sides equally. Your son may resist the stretching and exercises and cry. My cousin would cry every time she went to the clinic because she recognized what was going to happen. But she's a beautiful, balanced adult now and she has no recollection of the events.



answers from Albany on

My nephew had this and my sister did stretching and strengthening exercises as prescribed by a therapist.........I think he was around 2 months as well.....fast forward, he's 3 and fine! So....basically from what I've heard it's easily correctable with consistent therapy and I think the time obviously varies with the child and severity of the condition but doesn't take longer than 6 to 8 months. Take care! M.



answers from Los Angeles on

We took our son to the ER because he woke up one day with his head tiltled so far his ear was almost on his shoulder. Since it can be a sign of meningitis also (though if he doesn't have a fever, don't worry about that!) we were worried but it ended up just being Torticollis. They put a tiny neck brace on him that forced it to stretch back out and it was normal again in a few days. Basically it's just a sore/stiff neck. But in a kid, it will get worse because they will not try to straighten their neck, they'll just keep favoring a certain side, actually making it worse. That's why the neck brace was necessary.

It was just a thing that came and went, our son was about 10 or 11 months when it happened. It never recurred (he's 2+ now).

Good luck! I'm sure your little guy will be fine.



answers from Spartanburg on

You definitely should see a chiropractor about this. A pediatrician will probably recommend physical therapy but that doesn't get to the root of the problem. When vertebra in the neck become misaligned (from birthing process, sleeping a certain way, etc.) they then pull on the muscles in the neck which cause pain and inflammation causing your baby to "favor" one side and in more severe cases be unable to move their head in certain directions. Please see the pediatrician to make sure that it is torticollis and not something else. If it does come to be this then I STRONGLY recommend you see a chiropractor.



answers from Flagstaff on

My 8month old son still does this, but for him, it's generally the left. I am more looking to see what your responses are as well. I have a follow up check with our pediatrician about this next Tuesday as well. Good luck!



answers from Phoenix on

Our daughter had it and we switched her car seat to the other side of the car so she would turn her head the other way to see out the window. Laid her head at the opposite end of the crib and did some gentle, although your daughter may be too young. Dangle some toys on the effected side as well.



answers from Phoenix on

During my son's 3 month well check the doctor noticed he had torticollis, so it was a very slight case as we didn't really notice anything and he was our 4th child (maybe we weren't as "on top" of things as we could have been). We did 6 weeks of physical therapy and I had to massage him every day (which the pt showed me how to do the excersizes) and he was completely fine after about 3 months. He did develop a case of reflux that the doctor attributed to the torticollis so he was on some reflux meds for a few months. I remember being very concerned during that time and I had never even heard of torticollis, but it really wasn't a big deal at all. Just going to all the pt appointments was a hassle as I had 3 other kids to take care of as well. But now he is turning 2 next month and is perfectly fine :) God Bless!

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