Heather Gibson PT
Plagiocephaly and Torticollis: Why does it matter?
Often if there is a plagiocephaly (flattening at the back of baby's head), there is also a torticollis in the neck, which explains why the flat spot on your baby's head is on one side. By addressing the torticollis, you are addressing the plagiocephaly because it can improve baby's neck range of motion, thereby changing the preference your baby often wants to look, or sleep. How do I know if my baby has a torticollis? Often you will see your baby either preferring to look one way more than the other or they will have a head tilt. There are activities that will help strengthen the neck muscles to correct the problem. Also, stretching can be a great way to overcome a torticollis. So why does it matter? Symmetry is very important at certain stages of baby's development. For example it's important to learn to bring both hands to mouth for development and sometimes a baby with a torticollis will prefer to explore one hand more than the other. Also if there is a shortened muscle in the neck, this usually does not resolve without intervention. It is a good idea to have a paediatric physiotherapist do an assessment to determine the best course of action. The sooner treatment is implemented the sooner it will resolve. Remember most extended health insurance plans will cover this treatment! Please contact me if you have any questions.