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Congenital Muscular Torticollis

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.

Paediatric consultations are available at our Perth CBD, Point Cook and Rockingham locations. To learn more about how we can help you and your little one, contact our teams today.



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