Does your little one prefer to look to one side only? Does your baby prefer to breastfeed only on one side? Have you heard of the all-natural alternative, Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT)?
Studies have shown:
Torticollis, also called wryneck 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 may be an inherited defect, an acquired condition or congenital.
Children with torticollis 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.
Treatment of torticollis is especially successful when started at an early age. Treatment depends on the cause and is generally a conservative approach:
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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 to where they’re supposed to be so it takes pressure off this nerve and the baby can naturally correct its own posture.
For a list of articles supporting OMT, please click here.