It’s not uncommon for babies to be diagnosed with both plagiocephaly and torticollis. The relationship between plagiocephaly and torticollis is slightly unusual as causality can go in either direction. In other words, sometimes plagiocephaly can cause torticollis and sometimes it’s the other way round. Keep reading for a more in-depth explanation of the relationship between plagiocephaly and torticollis!
Torticollis (also known as wry neck) is a very common condition which can often develop into plagiocephaly. It is characterised by an inability to turn the head fully in both directions, and there may also be a head tilt towards the affected muscle.
As the muscles tighten and become cramped, pain and discomfort will often be felt, causing your baby to become irritable. In infancy, torticollis can develop in a number of ways. Firstly, newborns can experience torticollis due to maintaining a specific position in the womb or after a difficult childbirth. Acquired torticollis happens shortly after birth, either as a result of some shortening from the position that the baby has been lying in or due to bruising during the birth. However your baby has acquired torticollis, seeking a professional diagnosis and pursuing active treatment is necessary.
This informative blog post explains what to do if your baby has torticollis, helping to prevent the face and skull from growing unevenly, and improving the range of motion of the head and neck of your baby.
You may have noticed that your baby has a tendency to tilt their head to one side and a flat spot on your baby’s head. Having discovered that these symptoms are characteristic of torticollis and a head deformity known as plagiocephaly, you might be trying to decide on the best way forward.
Should you try a course of physiotherapy, osteopathy or chiropractic to treat the plagiocephaly and torticollis, or go straight to your doctor for advice?
Torticollis, or ‘wryneck’ is a muscular condition that prevents a baby from being able to fully turn their head in both directions. A torticollis is a result of an imbalance in the muscles on each side of the neck. These muscles start in front of the neck on the collarbone and breast bone and go diagonally up and back, ending at the base of the skull just behind the ear. The muscle on the right side turns the head to the left and side flexes the head to the right. The left muscle works in the opposite direction and when these muscles work together, they lift the head. (more…)
Plagiocephaly can start to appear before or during birth but often takes a few weeks to become apparent. A parent or health professional may notice that the head has an altered shape with a flattening to the side or at the back. If this is severe, the face and forehead may also be asymmetrical, with one ear further forward than the other. There are many different factors that can cause Plagiocephaly in babies, and they all relate to the fact that infants are born with soft, malleable skulls. (more…)
The dramatic rise in the incidence of baby flat head syndrome over the last couple of decades has largely been attributed to the Back to Sleep Campaign. Placing babies on their back to sleep is essential as a means of reducing the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), but if the baby is kept in one position, it can put continual pressure on the back of the head, which can eventually cause a flat spot to emerge.
Torticollis, sometimes referred to as wryneck, comes from the Latin words tortus (twisted) and collum (neck). Infants who have the condition have their head turned and tilted to one side and they struggle to move their head to the opposite side. This blog post explores torticollis in more detail, the different severities of the condition and how to find effective treatment for your baby. (more…)