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Does your little one prefer to look to one side only and/or tilt their head? Does your baby prefer to breastfeed only on one side? Are you afraid of your infant not meeting their developmental milestones?
If so, let me tell you a story.
Cecilia went through the roller coaster of IVF to finally conceive and sustain her pregnancy to term. The baby was in one position almost the whole pregnancy and toward the end, the amniotic fluid level was low. She had a long labor, pushed for 2 hours, and had a successful vaginal delivery. But the baby didn’t have a strong cry at delivery. She and her husband noticed that their baby preferred looking toward the right side, had a head tilt to the left, and they could really see it when he was sleeping and in the many loving pictures they took of their newborn. The baby preferred breastfeeding on the left side. They also noticed the back side of the head was flatter on the side which he preferred to look. He hated tummy time, arched back a lot, spit up frequently, and seemed uncomfortable and fussy. She was desperate for some help. With Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment, Cecilia was amazed at how much more at ease he seemed, the preference to the look to the right and head tilt greatly improved, he spit up much less, breastfeeding became easier on the right side, and he started rolling over!
Torticollis treatment also allowed his head shape to also become more round without the need for a helmet! Everyone was ecstatic!
YES, I’M READY TO END THIS FEAR ABOUT WHAT TO DO NEXT!Next section
Is Osteopathic Manipulation Safe For My Baby?
Yes! In May 2006, The American Journal of Pediatrics said:
“Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT), particularly Osteopathy in the Cranial Field, is safe, effective, and well-tolerated in treating postural plagiocephaly, torticollis, and many other clinical conditions in children… Those of us who use the osteopathic approach to medicine rarely need to refer our patients for physical therapy or orthotics.”
“Dr. Banik was amazing! My infant daughter had moderate positional plagiocephaly with
torticollis which was refractory to repositioning techniques recommended by physical
therapy. She was recommended for a helmet. As a pediatrician myself, I did not want to
go this route – it is expensive, cumbersome, and the evidence for use in non-severe cases
was not convincing. Many fellow physician moms suggested I find a DO who specialized
in therapy for this specific issue. We could not have been happier with Dr. Banik. My
daughter’s torticollis quickly resolved, and her head shape has normalized after a few
months. Dr. Banik explained everything as she was doing it, and I was never worried that
any treatment would be dangerous or uncomfortable for my baby. She was a pleasure to
visit each week, and my daughter seemed to enjoy it and would usually take a great nap
after treatments.” -AmandaNext section
What Does a Treatment from Osteopathic Healing Hands Look Like?
Most of our patients aren’t familiar with our type of medicine and we typically get the common question: “So you aren’t a chiropractor or a physical therapist, but treat with your hands? What does a treatment look like?Next section
Studies have shown infants treated with osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) also experienced:
Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment for babies is a highly successful, hands-on, non-invasive way to diagnose and treat the body. It uses zero equipment or machinery and can significantly improve and treat physical symptoms caused by conditions like Traumatic TorticollisNext section
Causes of Postural Torticollis
Torticollis, also called wry neck or twisted neck, is a condition caused by tightened or shortened neck muscles. Children with this condition often have poor head control and tilt their head towards one side with the chin turned to the other side. This is usually observed in the first 6 to 8 weeks of life. In newborns, it can occur as a result of abnormal positioning of the head in the womb or birth trauma. In older children, it may result from injury to the neck muscles or from infections.
Torticollis in the young often arises from the trauma of giving birth or malpositioning in the womb. The baby’s bones of the skull are designed to be as free as possible to allow for passage through the birth canal. Sometimes they can get stuck, which will affect the nerve (called the spinal accessory nerve) that plays a major role in neck muscle functioning. One focus in osteopathic treatments is correcting anatomical dysfunction to allow for better function. For example, one of the bones at the base of the skull is called the occiput. Another bone is called the temporal bone. There is a hole created between these two bones called the jugular foramen through which many nerves and veins pass through. Now, if you imagine a traumatic birth experience where the bones of the occiput and temporal bone squished these nerves, then one side of the neck muscles would pull harder than the other side resulting in torticollis. My job would be to help restore the bones, through Torticollis treatment, to where they’re supposed to be so it takes pressure off this nerve and the baby can naturally correct its own posture.Next section
Children with Traumatic Ttorticollis may exhibit various signs and symptoms such as:
Your physician will diagnose torticollis based on the birth history, which reveals the possibility of any birth injury and a careful physical examination. X-rays and ultrasound examination of the neck may be done to rule out other abnormalities and confirm the diagnosis. A thorough neurologic exam helps to assess the cause of torticollis.Next section
Treatment of Torticollis is especially successful when started at an early age. Physical therapy is a common treatment. Osteopathic manipulative treatment is aimed at addressing the root cause of why torticollis exists and to resolve it from that respect.Return to start
Osteopath treatment for Torticollis
Frequently asked questions
What should I wear to my appointments?
Loose-fitting clothing or gym clothes
How many visits will I need?
This is variable depending upon what is being treated and how extensive your treatment needs to be. Our goal is to bring you to optimal health so that you won’t need to continually return.
What is the difference between licensing and board certification for a physician, and do you have any of these?
Physicians are required to be licensed to practice medicine in the U.S. by the licensing board in each state they wish to practice.
A board certified physician has completed an additional training program in a specialty and has passed a rigorous exam to assess his or her knowledge, skills and experience to provide quality patient care in that specialty.
In my case, I am licensed to practice medicine in Texas, and I have two board certifications. The first one is Family Medicine and the second one is Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine/Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine.
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