Although infant torticollis is a condition that manifests itself visually, sometimes it can go unnoticed.
The condition is caused by the tightening of the neck muscles, which causes a child to always tilt or turn his or her head to one side. And while that sounds like something that would be easily caught by a child’s caregivers, Christy Corbin, a physical therapist at Tidelands Health Pediatric Rehabilitation Services at Azalea Lakes, says that’s not always the case.
There are a couple of possible reasons. First, not every baby is born with the condition; sometimes it develops during the first couple months of the baby’s life. Also, some babies are able to move their heads around in a seemingly normal fashion, but tend to always go back to a tilted position.
Corbin says caregivers can look at pictures of the baby during his or hers early months to see if there is a pattern.
“People can sometimes pick up on it better in pictures than they can being with the child,” she says.
Nap time also presents an opportunity to observe a possible sign of torticollis.
“Sometimes you’ll see it more when they’re sleeping,” Corbin says. “If they go to that one position consistently when they’re sleeping, that could be a representation of the torticollis,” she says.