Torticollis in newborns

Torticollis in newborns

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Torticollis can appear in both adults and children. Specifically in infants there are several types of torticollis, but the most common type is congenital muscular torticollis.

Babies born with torticollis always sleep on the same side in the crib, they don't turn their heads even when you motivate them to do it with noises or lights to get their attention. Detecting these symptoms early is important, since otherwise, torticollis can lead to bigger problems, such as plagiocephaly.

This type of torticollis, congenital torticollis, occurs in the newborn or manifests during the first two months of life. It is characterized by a shortening of the sternocleidomastoid muscle, This causes the head to tilt towards the affected side, associated with the rotation of the chin to the opposite side. Sometimes there is a visible bulge of the muscle and other times a global thickening of the muscle.

The origin or cause is not clear, it could be due to a bad intrauterine position or a muscular hematoma due to trauma during childbirth, among other causes.

In most cases, it is the parents who detect that the baby has any of these symptoms:

- Keeps head cocked permanently or cannot turn it aside.

- He always sleeps on the same side and complains if we try to change him to the opposite side.

- There are presence of a lump in the neck muscle (can be detected by palpation or even visually).

In the event of any of these symptoms, parents should go immediately to the pediatrician since early diagnostic and rule out other more serious causes of torticollis.

Once correctly diagnosed, they will be referred to physiotherapy services, and the evolution is usually very positive. It is important that the early rehabilitation treatment, which will improve the results and avoid possible complications derived from the pathology (plagiocephaly, psychomotor maturation delay, infant scoliosis ...).

The parental involvement in treatment It is essential, it is essential that they participate in it under the guidelines of the specialists, who will advise and instruct them in the performance of exercises and in the management of the baby during the activities of daily life.

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