Does your baby’s head tend to tilt to one side or they prefer to look in one direction? It may be a sign of congenital muscular torticollis.
Congenital muscular torticollis (CMT) is a condition that is characterised by the tightness of a muscle in one side of the neck called the sternocleidomastoid (SCM). Diagnosis usually occurs within the first month of life.
There are two types of CMT:
- The most common
- Tightness of the SCM muscle and limitation of passive range of motion
- A mass (thickening of the SCM muscle) can develop limiting passive range of motion
- The baby has a preferred head posture with no muscle tightness or restriction to passive range of motion
Signs your child may have CMT include:
- You’ve notice a tilt at birth, or within one month
- Your child has difficulty feeding on one side
- There is limited tummy time
- Your child has a preferred head posture to one side
How can physiotherapy help with congenital muscular torticollis?
- We can diagnose your child’s condition
- We can provide education on positioning during feeding, sleeping and playing
- We can provide education on environmental modifications to encourage neck and head movements
- We can prescribe stretching exercises to be performed several times a day
Treatment commenced before three months of age is associated with better outcomes.