(KUTV) There are a lot of things parents need to be on the lookout for with newborns. For example, if you notice your child’s head is tilted to one side, or if they have trouble turning their neck in one direction, this may be a sign of a condition called torticollis.
Congenital muscular torticollis is relatively common in newborns. Recently, we met little Jacob and his mother Deborah. Jacob is 6-months-old and is currently getting treatment for his torticollis. “He was so weak on one side. He wasn’t able to really hold his head up straight,” said Deborah.
Kelly Warner is a physical therapist at the Orem Pediatric Rehabilitation Center in Utah County. He says there are many theories on what may cause torticollis. He says parents will usually notice their baby can’t move their head to one side, or they have a flat spot behind their ear. “So they (parents) will come to their physician and say ‘help my child; there is something wrong with their head because it is getting flat behind their ear’.”
Treating torticollis depends on the severity. In some cases, like Jacob, the case is serious enough that they will need some physical therapy. Physical therapy can help strengthen the muscles in the neck. Another thing Kelly says all parents should re-position your baby at night. “We recommend that families position their babies at the head of the bed one night and at the foot of the bed the next. Sometimes we call it even and odd. On even nights, they are at the head of the bed and on odd nights they are at the food of the bed.”
Little Jacob can now move his head both directions. We should mention that his older sibling also had torticollis.
For more information on the Orem Pediatric Rehabilitation Center visit here
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)