Identifying and Treating Infant Torticollis

Baby with head turned left on back

Managing and Treating Infant Torticollis: A Comprehensive Guide


Are you struggling to treat your infant’s torticollis? If so, you’re not alone. Thousands of parents across the world are in the same situation as you. Torticollis is a condition that causes an infant’s head to tilt or twist due to tight neck muscles and can often be very difficult to treat. Fortunately, there are a number of strategies for managing and treating infant torticollis. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most effective approaches to help you begin your journey toward finding treatment for your baby. We’ll go over how to identify the condition, the types of treatments available, and how you can create a plan that suits both your and your baby’s needs. Read on to learn more!

What is Infant Torticollis or Congenital Torticollis?

Torticollis, also known as congenital torticollis or wryneck, is a condition in which an infant’s head tilts to one side due to tight neck muscles. The most common cause of this condition is birth trauma, but it can also occur as a result of an infection during pregnancy or from positional molding from ultrasound scans. The condition is most commonly seen in infants aged 3 months and younger, but can also occur in older babies. Symptoms of torticollis include a head tilt that does not resolve even when the baby is placed on the back, a flattened or bulging area of muscle on one side of the neck, and limited range of motion in the neck.

Diagnosing Infant Torticollis

If you suspect your baby has torticollis, it’s important to have them evaluated by a doctor. During the evaluation, your doctor may check for any other underlying conditions that could be causing the symptoms and will assess the range of motion in the baby’s neck. In some cases, your doctor may order an X-ray to rule out a fracture or other bone abnormalities.

Risk Factors for Infant Torticollis

There are several risk factors that could increase the likelihood of developing torticollis in infants. These include being born prematurely, with low birth weight, and if the infant was in a breech position during delivery. Additionally, having an infection or inflammation of the neck muscles during pregnancy can increase the risk of torticollis in infants.

Treatment Options for Infant Torticollis

The primary goal of treating torticollis in infants is to reduce pain and improve the range of motion in the neck. Treatment usually consists of physical therapy and exercises to stretch and strengthen the affected muscles. Massage may also be used, as well as other modalities such as ultrasound or electrical stimulation. In some cases, a special orthosis may be needed to keep the neck in the correct position while exercising.

Preventing Infant Torticollis

One of the best ways to prevent torticollis in infants is to change the baby’s position regularly when they are sleeping. This helps keep the neck and head muscles from becoming stiff or overused on one side. Additionally, regular tummy time while awake can help prevent torticollis. It’s also important for pregnant women to take care of themselves during pregnancy by eating right, exercising, and managing stress.

Long-Term Outlook for Infants with Torticollis

Most cases of torticollis in infants can be effectively managed with appropriate treatment and prevention measures. However, there is still a risk that the condition could worsen or become chronic if left untreated. If this occurs, physical therapy and other intervention may be necessary. The long-term outlook for infants with torticollis is generally good, but early diagnosis and treatment of the condition is important to ensure that the baby’s neck has the full range of motion and normal muscle strength.


Infant torticollis is a common occurrence that can be caused by a variety of factors, such as a tight neck muscle, improper positioning during pregnancy, or birth trauma. Early diagnosis and treatment are important to prevent the condition from worsening or becoming chronic. Treatment usually consists of physical therapy and exercises to stretch and strengthen the affected muscles. Additionally, regular changes in sleeping position and tummy time while awake can help reduce the risk of infant torticollis. The long-term outlook for infants with torticollis is generally good when the condition is treated early.

With the right approach, infant torticollis can be effectively managed and prevented. By educating yourself on the various risk factors, treatments, and prevention methods available for this condition, you can ensure that your baby has a healthy start to life.