If your kid(s) had torticollis, how long did it take to resolve itself?

Discussion in 'The First Year' started by sullivanre, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. sullivanre

    sullivanre Well-Known Member

    My singleton has a mild case of torticollis. (I can't believe my twins didn't had it, and my singleton does, but that's for another thread.) The doctor suggested I work her neck by stretching it the opposite way that the baby favors. I've been doing that a few times a day for a month, and I don't think it's getting much better. So at the two month check up, I asked how long it takes to get better. The doctor said months. I have no idea how many months. I think she said 3-4, but I don't remember.

    How long did it take to resolve, and what did you do to help?
  2. piccologirl

    piccologirl Well-Known Member

    we did physical therapy and home exercises. it probably went from diagnosis to fully resolved over 3-4 months, so i'd say your pedi is pretty much on the mark for our experience. we started with PT once a week for about a month, then went to once every other week for about a month and a half. then we dropped PT and just focused on stretching, positioning, and activities on the weaker side for the next month.

    what kind of twist/tilt does your LO have and what kind of exercises are you doing?
  3. TwinLove

    TwinLove Well-Known Member

    We went to therapy as well. :good: My ds had it and started at 4 months and by 9 months it wasn't noticeable anymore. :good:

    Good luck!! The exercises we did at home were what helped the most!!
  4. sullivanre

    sullivanre Well-Known Member

    She leans like this /// and a little forward. The doctor told me to turn her head this way \\\ either while she's sitting or while she's on her belly.
  5. jsmith

    jsmith Active Member

    Alex had a mild case as well, and we started noticing a distinct flat spot when he was two months old. He started p/t and the therapist said we didn't need to do stretches since the muscle wasn't tight, we just needed to strengthen the muscles on the other side to pull his head straight. First we were just propping his head to the opposite side that he favoured while he slept or was in the swing or bouncer (we used a rolled up receiving blanket). We also put his crib aquarium on the left (he tended to turn right) and put him in the car so that the window was on his left, anything to encourage him to turn left. When he got older and was holding his head up well and sitting up, we would put him in a Bumbo and play with noisy toys behind his left shoulder. We would gently block the right shoulder from turning so that he would have to use his neck to turn to see the toy. We would also hold him in front of a mirror and slowly tilt him to the left and right. Since babies like to keep their eyes on a level he would use his neck muscles to pull his head straight while his body was tilted.
    We started p/t once every two weeks and gradually increased the time between appointments. He had his last appointment at 9 months and there was no trace of torticollis or a flat spot.
  6. silver_stardust

    silver_stardust Well-Known Member

    Twin A had a mild case and we were given the same instruction for exercises as you. His head titled to the right and he couldn't look all the way to the right either so we had to stretch and tilt to the left. We probably did this almost every day for a few months. We noticed his tilt more around the 3-4 month mark and kept working on it till he could comfortably turn his head the right; I'd say he was probably 6 months old when we stopped having to do the stretches. Now you'd never know. Good luck and I agree w/ pp that these exercises really helped the most!!! Oh and lots of tummy time can't hurt either!
  7. TwinLove

    TwinLove Well-Known Member

    Okay, this is the closest I can find that shows the stretches we were doing. Here it is!!
  8. sullivanre

    sullivanre Well-Known Member

    Thanks ladies; that was very helpful. It looks like I'll have to stop letting her sleep in the car seat, which is going to be trouble for a few nights. I think that is probably making matters worse. On the upside she nurses on both sides, so that's probably helping keep it from getting too bad, but the car seat must go. I'll have to make her a floor and crib only baby for the time being. I tried the receiving blanket idea, but she keeps knocking it down and/ or continuing to turn even with the blanket there.
  9. Nancy C

    Nancy C Well-Known Member

    Try to anchor the blanket roll under a blanket she is laying on. If you include the shoulder a bit as well it makes it more effective.
    You can also take a receiving blanket and fold so it is a about 4 inches think, place under her head, fold the side you don't want her to turn to so it makes a big obstacle to go that direction.
  10. jromkey

    jromkey Well-Known Member

    Ava was diagnosed with left torticollis (preferred to turn to the right) when she was around 2 months old and by the time she was 6 months old it had been resolved (along with the flat spot she developed because of it). We went to physio every 6 weeks so she could be assessed for improvement or worsening. When she was between 2-4 months old we used positioning strategies (keeping interesting objects and toys to her left; played on her left side; lightly held back the opposite shoulder so she didn't compensate with it) and tummy time strategies to strengthen her neck and shoulders. We did tummy time in short bursts because she didn't like it at first. She did however prefer it when we put her on our stomachs and reclined as much as she could tolerate. We also put her tummy side down over the back of a boppy pillow. We would also combine the positioning and tummy time. When she got older, we incorporated head righting strategies (when picking her up, we'd roll her onto her left side then slowly picked her up; carried her tilted sideways with her left side down and would tilt her at different angles; we'd have her straddle one of our legs and face forward and then slowly tilt her to the left side). Other things we did: when feeding a bottle we'd present it to the left to encourage her to look that way; while in the car seat, we'd use a rolled up towel to keep her from turning to the right.

    The physiotherapists also recommended getting a "Love Nest" cushion. Not sure if your LO has a flat spot at this point but it may be a good investment in order to prevent one from developing. Good luck!
  11. seamusnicholas

    seamusnicholas Well-Known Member

    S began therapy at 8 weeks. We did the exercises at home too. We went once a week for 3 months. At that time, I was not noticing much of a difference and his flat head concerned me. We upped therapy to 2 times a week. At this time, I also brought him to a helmet place but his measurements were mild/moderate so he did not need a helmet. The Dr. however, said he cant sleep in his car seat anymore. This was at 5 months. It was so hard to break the habit but we had to do it. He went to therapy for 1 year. I remember them saying that he has to go for a year because there can be relapses during different milestones (sitting, crawling). At 6/7 months, his tort was much better but still noticeable.
  12. nycmomma

    nycmomma Well-Known Member

    It's great to hear so many stories about torticollis resolving so quickly! My son was diagnosed at 3 months and started PT immediately. He went 1x/week until 9 months and then he was finally approved for EI services and still gets PT (at 17 months) 2x/week. He also gets OT 2x/week for fine motor delays related to torticollis.

    He was really crooked, "c" shaped from hips to neck and repositioning didn't help. He ended up in a helmet for 11 weeks and his head is now considered "normal," although I can still see the flat spot. The crookedness resolved by 10 months (so about 7 months of treatment), but he has gross motor delays (weakness on the opposite side and a retracted shoulder) and fine motor delays (decreased hand strength and coordination on the opposite side), but has hit most milestones on time. He'll graduate from EI when he's 19 months.
  13. sullivanre

    sullivanre Well-Known Member

    I just wanted to thank you guys again. I have noticed the curve in her body too, so I'm gonna try to be attentive to that as well.

    I'll be losing insurance in a month, so I really need to get this done since I don't think we can easily afford therapy. I've worked her every day, and I'm noticing an improvement in her neck. She actually likes tummy time and physical activity, so that's a bonus. I ditched the carseat in the night, although I still let her take some naps in it. I'm also using NancyC's blanket technique.
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