Torticollis can be brought upon due to the way your baby was positioned in utero. In some cases, infants develop torticollis after birth due to the birth process itself (especially cesarean, vacuum extraction, and forceps deliveries). Such interventions during birth put extra stress and can cause damage to the upper neck. Muscles in the upper neck that work to hold the head go into a severe spasm, which in turn causes the infant to present a tilted head. During an assisted birth, the pulling on a twisted neck only worsens the problem. This can lead to nursing issues like breast preference and uneven milk supply, as the infant tends to favor one side due to misalignment, neck spasm, and difficulty turning the neck.
Some things to look for if you are wondering if your little one has torticollis are:
- Head tilts or rotates to one side
- Limited range of motion in head and neck
- Asymmetry in your baby’s head and face (flattening on one side of the head)
- Breastfed babies may prefer one side over the other
- Musculoskeletal problems may be present
- A small, soft lump in your infant’s neck
- Plagiocephaly, or a flat spot appearing behind one ear and on the side the child likes to look toward
Now, you may be wondering, how can chiropractic help children and infants with torticollis?
Pediatric chiropractic adjustment is a natural, gentle, safe, and effective method to correcting misalignment in the neck and spine. Specifically, gentle adjustments to the upper cervical spine in the upper neck are key to balancing the spine. These upper cervical misalignments can lead to muscle imbalance, causing one side of the neck muscles to become contracted over time and even other developmental issue due to the impact on the nervous system if left uncorrected!