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. (more…)
Do Baby Carriers and Car Seats Cause Flat Head Syndrome?
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.
Over 25 years a countless number of babies have been saved thanks to Anne Diamond’s Back to Sleep campaign. Anne Diamond: mother, journalist and fervent campaigner fought relentlessly to highlight the ignorance surrounding cot death in Britain following her son Sabastian’s tragic cot death in 1991. Tired of hearing that it ‘is just one of those things’ which you have to get over, Anne Diamond courageously campaigned in an attempt to spread the message: placing babies on their backs to sleep lowers the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). After unfaltering persistence, the NHS adopted the new guidelines on infant sleep positioning which were being recommended in Australia and the USA and the rest of Western Europe soon followed suit. Within one year of the 1991 launch of the Back to Sleep campaign, the number of SIDS cases in the UK fell hugely from 1,545 to 647. Since the adoption of this advice the lives of thousands of infants have been saved.
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 a tendency for your baby to tilt the 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 will 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?
Signs and symptoms of plagiocephaly (AKA flat head syndrome) and torticollis
When your baby was only a few weeks old, you may have noticed how he seemed to cock his head whenever he looked at you. Seeing him in other situations, you might have then realised that this was his customary posture. When you tried to move his head away from his shoulder, he may have cried as though you were causing him pain. (more…)
Experts recommend tummy time for all babies to help develop their motor skills and protect against flat head syndrome. However, as most parents who have tried it will readily attest, getting your little one to feel comfortable lying face-down can be easier said than done. If you want to know how to make tummy time and repositioning easier, read on to discover some tried and tested methods that other parents find useful. (more…)
While there may be evidence of a correlation between plagiocephaly and motor delay, it’s currently unclear whether or not this is a cause and effect relationship. However, a recent study investigating the potential ties between plagiocephaly, torticollis and motor development may shed a little more light on the nature of this link. (more…)