Not Torticollis

Updated on May 07, 2018
M.M. asks from Schenectady, NY
10 answers

My 7 month old baby has been intermittently tilting his head to his right side for 3 months (it literally started spontaneously one day). It lasts about 5-7 days then gets better over a couple of days then he's ok for 3-14 days then it happens again and the cycle repeats. Recently he is tilting to his left as well. It doesn't seem to bother him and there are no other symptoms other than that it seems that it is not just his neck but his whole trunk that bends. When it started I took him to the doctor who referred us to a pediatric physiotherapist who diagnosed him with congenital torticollis but as it resolves and now changes sides I am sure it is not congenital torticollis. I then took him to a chiropractor who treated him for 2 months but it doesn't seem to have made any difference and is very expensive so I've stopped going. I have done some research online and the only thing that comes up is Benign Paroxismal Torticollis - except that he doesn't have any of the other symptoms - just the head tilt. I am at a loss! My husband says he thinks it will just resolve itself over time - I hope he's right - but I wanted to know if anyone else has experienced this and if it does 'just get better'?

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answers from Rochester on

Hi M.,
I am a chiropractor and have treated infants with torticollis. Whether it is or not, chiropractic will help any spinal issues. Children respond very very quickly! I would suggest finding another chiropractor, perhaps one that has specialized additional training in pediatrics. Please don't give up! Hope this helps!

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answers from New York on

Hi M.,

As a massage therapist, I'd like to recommend baby massage to you to assist your baby in his growth. I, too, think this will resolve over time, however, if you and your husband massage your baby daily, several times a day even, I think you will find this encourages his body's muscles and bones to develop appropriately. I would concentrate on his neck muscles and back muscles with long sweeping strokes. Avoid direct pressure on the spine/backbones. Apply a massage cream or oil first, of course. Work not so gently that he doesn't feel it or it puts him to sleep. You want it to be effective. You could take him to a baby massage therapist, watch how she works and then copy her techniques on your own. Or google it. ;)

Good luck to you.
from the Pocono Mts. of PA

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answers from Pocatello on

My mother is a Physical Therapist assistant and the Physical Therapist she works with is a specialist in torticollis. To me from what my Mom has said it sounds like Torticollis but because it kinda comes and goes he could be in the beginning stages of it or he just might not have it that badly. (there are different degrees of it) But if I were you I would take him to a Physical Therapist right away. They can treat him before it gets worse. My Mom says the longer you wait the harder it is to treat. Once he is there they will play games with him to get him to turn his head and body certain ways. They will also stretch out his muscles so that they don't get tight which is what causes the head to turn to the right or left. They can also give you stretches to do at home with him and within a few months he could be all better.

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answers from Redding on

I have friends who went through this but the situation was pretty severe due to the way their baby sat in the womb. There are so many exercises and things you can do at home like changing sides evenly. Massage is really good too because it loosens up the muscles. If your baby favors the right side, lay him on his left and vice versa.
My friend's daughter was so bad her head literally layed on one shoulder and now you would never know it. Massage and switching positions is what did the trick.
It won't get better if you just leave it alone, but there are plenty of things you can do at home to help "even" your baby out.

I hope you get some great responses, but turning your baby and rubbing his little neck muscles with mineral oil can't hurt anything.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

My daughter actually had Torticollis and we were able to get PT for her and it resolved it's self over time. Maybe take him to a second ped for a second opinon. With any form of Torticollis if it's not taken care of properly it can result in problems down the road.

Shane B has great suggestions all of which we did with the help of PT's (provided at no costs through the school district we live in. we started PT at 3 months old or younger I want to say)



answers from Kansas City on

My daughter had torticollis and we had to do physical therapy for a few months and it did finally resolve on its own.



answers from New York on

I don't have any experience w/this, but I did see a case on Discovery Health where a child had the head tilting symptom and it turned out it was a vision problem. When your son is tilting his head to one side try covering up that eye (if he tilts to the right cover up the right eye) if he straightens out his head it is probably his vision. The case on television was fixed with a simple procedure and the child was totally fine.



answers from Cincinnati on

Just curious to see what ever happened with your baby? My son has had the exact same thing since he was 4 months old. He is now 10 months old and it still is happening. Any updates you can provide?



answers from Norfolk on

Hey! I know this post is really old but my baby is doing the same thing just wondering what ever happened with your child? Thanks!



answers from Albany on

Our son his a bit of a torticollis problem that mostly amounts to very tight muscles on one side. For a while I think it is best to keep going with (bilateral) massage, chiropractic treatments, sacrocraneal therapy, exercises, yoga, physical therapy, etc. Whatever you can do at home, do it. And get outside help, as well. Just a little bit every day will help. Best wishes!

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