The Torticollis Dilemma: A Parent’s Guide

Head shape

Have you noticed that your baby always holds their head to one side? Do they seem to have difficulty turning their neck in one direction? It’s possible that your little one is dealing with a condition called torticollis. As a parent, it can be worrying to see your child experience discomfort or difficulty with their movements. But fear not, we’re here to provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to manage torticollis and support your child through their journey to recovery.

Understanding Torticollis

Torticollis, also known as wry neck, is a condition where the muscles in one side of the neck are contracted, causing the head to tilt to one side and the chin to point to the opposite side. This can make it challenging for the baby to turn their head in all directions, leading to potential issues with feeding, vision development, and motor skills.

Causes of Torticollis

Torticollis can be present at birth (congenital) or develop due to positioning in the womb or after birth (positional). It can also be caused by a shortened or tight muscle, known as congenital muscular torticollis. In some cases, it may be associated with other musculoskeletal conditions, so it’s important to consult with your pediatrician to determine the cause of your child’s torticollis.

Treatment and Management

Fortunately, torticollis is a condition that can often be improved with early intervention and appropriate treatment. Here are some strategies to help manage your child’s torticollis:

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is often the mainstay of treatment for torticollis. A pediatric physical therapist can work with your child to perform gentle stretching exercises and provide guidance on positioning and handling to encourage improved neck movement. These exercises are important for strengthening the affected muscles and promoting symmetrical development in your baby.

Tummy Time

Encouraging your baby to spend time on their tummy while awake can help reduce the effects of torticollis. This position allows the neck muscles to stretch and strengthen while also promoting motor development. Make sure to always supervise your baby during tummy time to ensure their safety.

Positioning and Handling

Be mindful of how you position and handle your baby. Alternating the side on which you hold your baby, providing opportunities for them to turn their head in both directions, and using different positions for feeding and play can all help to prevent further tightening of the neck muscles.

Support and Encouragement

As a parent, it’s natural to feel concerned about your child’s well-being. Remember to seek support from your pediatrician, pediatric physical therapist, and other parents who may have experience with torticollis. By staying informed and actively participating in your child’s treatment, you can play a crucial role in their recovery.


Torticollis can be a challenging condition to navigate, but with the right support and intervention, your child can overcome it. By working closely with healthcare professionals and implementing the recommended strategies, you can help your baby on their journey to improved neck movement and overall development.


Q: Can torticollis cause long-term issues for my child?

A: With appropriate treatment and intervention, the majority of children with torticollis can achieve full resolution without long-term issues. Early detection and management are key to preventing potential complications.

Q: How soon should I seek treatment for my child’s torticollis?

A: It’s advisable to consult with your pediatrician as soon as you notice any signs of torticollis in your baby. Early intervention can lead to more effective outcomes.

Q: Will my child require surgery for torticollis?

A: In most cases, surgery is not necessary for the treatment of torticollis. Non-invasive methods such as physical therapy and positioning techniques are usually effective in resolving the condition.