Conditions > Torticollis

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FOR YOUR CHILD WITH TORTICOLLIS? CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT!

 

What is  Torticollis?

      Torticollis (AKA Wry Neck) is a form of dystonia (prolonged muscle contractions) in which the neck muscles, particularly the sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle, contract involuntarily causing the head to turn. The medical approach to this condition is often surgery on neck muscles, nerves and tendons, intensive physical therapy and drug therapy.

      The surgery entails cutting the SCM muscle and lengthening it.

Symptoms of Torticollis

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  • Head tremor

  • Shoulder is higher on one side of the body

  • Stiffness of neck muscles

  • Swelling of the neck muscles (possibly present at birth)

  • Lumps in neck/muscle belly

  • Difficulty dressing/bathing

  • Problems breastfeeding

  • Colic

  • Positional preference

  • “Fisting”- constant fisting of hands

  • “C” shape- the shape the body is when they are laying flat

  • Reflux (GERD)

  • Constipation

Congenital

This type is present at birth and develops as a result of damage to the nervous system or muscles and is more common type.

  • Birth trauma, multiples or intrauterine malposition.

  • May occur if the fetus’ head is in the wrong position while growing in the womb.

  • If the muscles or blood supply to the fetus’ neck are injured.

  • Clavicular fractures seen in neonates secondary to birth trauma.

  • Arnold-Chiari, Goldenhar or Moebius Syndrome.

  • Ocular Torticollis- should NOT be treated.

3 Types of Torticollis

Aquired

Occurs because of another problem and usually presents in previously normal children and adults.

Acute:

  • Tumors of the skull base

  • Sandifer Syndrome

  • Infections

 

Spasmodic:

  • Trauma to the neck can cause atlantoaxial rotary subluxation, in which the two vertebrae closest to the skull slide with respect to each other, tearing stabilizing ligaments.

Psychogenic:

  • The use of certain drugs (example: antipsychotics).

Cause Unknown

The torticollis occurs without a known cause.

Chiropractic

Dr. Amber Brooks, DC is a Board Certified Pediatric Chiropractor (ICPA) with gentle and effective care. This portion of the triad will address the diagnoses and treatment of any musculoskeletal problems, these are usually as a result of in-utero restrictions or the birthing process.

Please read more about chiropractic here.

Alternative Care for Torticollis- The Treatment Triad

Craniosacral Therapy (CST)

CST is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of a physiological body system called the craniosacral system—comprised of the membranes, cranial bones, cerebrospinal fluid and the tissue that surrounds and protects the brain and spinal cord. Using a soft touch generally no greater than five grams, or about the weight of a nickel the tension in the body that has caused the asymmetry can be reduced.

Please read more about CST here.

Physical/

Occupational Therapy

This helps speed up range of motion with stretching, teaches families positioning options and promotes additional aid.

All of the above work together to help reduce tension and speed up the range of motion. CST treatment can take from 4 weeks to several months depending on age, complexity and any underlying issues. Improvement is usually seen quickly when the recommended treatment plan is followed, most times we are one part of your team. This is important to diagnose early with your pediatrician and get treatment for a faster recovery. I always suggest parents rule out Ocular Torticollis, see your ophthalmologist or pediatrician to determine if this is an issue. Early treatment can keep your child from developing more complex issues and the prognosis is great for those with no congenital/genetic issues.

About

Dr. Amber Brooks FNP, CACCP, BCIP, DC is a pediatric expert bridging alternative and traditional

medicine by providing individualized and comprehensive approaches to pediatric wellness. Her experience is unique, as she is Board Certified in Integrative Pediatrics, Board Certified as a Pediatric Chiropractor, a Family Nurse Practitioner and Craniosacral Therapist.

Chiropractic treatment can take from 4 weeks to several months depending on age, complexity and any underlying issues. Improvement is typically seen when a treatment plan is followed and many times we are one part of your treatment team. This is important to diagnose early and get treatment for a faster recovery. Please see your pediatrician or physical therapist for a proper diagnosis if needed. Early treatment can keep your child from developing more complex developmental issues. The prognosis is great for those with no congenital/genetic issues and we strive to work in conjunction with your other clinicians. If your child has a skull asymmetry we may be able to help and/or make a proper referral.

Dr. Amber Brooks FNP, CACCP, BCIP, DC has extensive experience solving complex pediatric and unique perspective of diagnosing the problem rather than treating the symptoms has led to 

remarkable results worldwide. Parents praise her current, yet practical, guidance to what a child is struggling with and tools to help the family improve their child's future health.

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Dr. Amber Brooks, DC, MSN, CACCP, BCIP, RN Does Not Provide Medical Advice, Diagnosis Or Treatment. Content Throughout The Site Is For Informational Purposes Only And Is Not Intended To Be A Substitute For Professional Medical Care Or Diagnosis. Please Seek The Advice Of Your Primary Physician Or Other Qualified Health Provider With Any Questions You May Have Regarding Your Medical Condition. The Views And Statements Expressed On The Site (Film/Media/Testimonials/Blogs/Etc) Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Views Of Whole Child Wellness Or Amber Brooks, DC, MSN, CACCP, BCIP, RN. Whole Child Wellness, Amber Brooks, DC, MSN, CACCP, BCIP, RN, And Any Other Person Involved In The Making And Distribution Of The Material Do Not Warrant The Accuracy, Reliability, Currency, Or Completeness Of Those Views Or Statements And Do Not Accept Any Legal Liability Whatsoever Arising From Any Reliance On The Views, Statements, And Subject Matter Of The Material. The Material, The Views And Statements Expressed In The Film/Media/Testimonials/Site Are Not Substitutes For Independent Professional Medical Advice. Viewers Should Exercise Their Own Care, Skill And Diligence With Respect To The Reliance And Use Of Any Information Contained In The Site. Viewers Should Not Act Or Refrain From Acting On The Basis Of The Views And Statements Expressed In The Content Without First Seeking Appropriate Professional Medical Advice With Respect To Their Own Particular Circumstances.