Children’s physiotherapy aims to improve a child’s movement abilities through movement training, exercise, stretching, motivation and education. Early intervention is always best so don’t be afraid to ask for help. A preliminary assessment will put your mind at ease.
There are numerous childhood conditions that can affect a child’s development. From birth to 5 years, your child should reach milestones in how he plays, learns, speaks and acts. Track your child’s development and act early if you have a concern.
Torticollis, or Wryneck which means, “twisted neck”, in Latin is a symptom that causes a child’s chin to rotate to one sidewhile the head turns to the other side.
Congenital muscular torticollis, (present at birth), occurs when the sternocleidomastoid muscle on one side of the neck becomestighter than the other, pulling the head and neck to that side. This tightness may have been developed due to the baby’s positioning in the uterus, or if muscles were damaged during a difficult delivery. In addition to the head posture, a lump, (scar tissue) in the affected muscle can sometimes be felt. This is usually noticeable between 2 and 8 weeks of age. In some instances, it can lead to plagiocephaly, (flat head), and facial asymmetry if your child’s head lies in the same position all of the time. Congenital torticollis usually improves with range of motion, stretching exercises, positioning, and massage.
Children with acquired torticollis tend to hold their neck to one side and will experience limited movement as a result of pain or stiffness. The cause is generally unknown, however, it can be caused by trauma, inflammation, or simply improper positioning in a car seat. Early detection and initiation of physiotherapy is related to improved outcomes and less need for medical intervention or equipment such as, baby helmets for cranial shaping.
Physiotherapy is crucial for children with torticollis. A treatment plan will be developed according to the child’s age and needs. A Physiotherapist can show you exercises, positioning and activities to help your childgain and use the movement they are lacking.
Home-based exercises need to be done several times daily. An initial assessment will determine what treatment plan is best for you and your child. Subsequent follow-up visits will allow the progress to be monitored.