Torticollis Care: A Dana Point, CA Chiropractor’s Perspective
What is Torticollis?
Torticollis is a condition involving tension in the sternocleidomastoid muscle in the neck, causing both tilting and rotation of the head to one side. This can be quite painful and restricts the normal range of motion of the head.
Types of Torticollis
Congenital: An infant can be born with torticollis due to in-utero constraint, depending on restricted positioning or birth trauma. Any pulling, pushing, or vacuum extractions during the birth process can cause cervical subluxations leading to torticollis. Torticollis can show itself immediately at birth or may take a few months to be seen.
Acquired: Torticollis is not just found in infants but also older children and adults. It can be due to trauma or injury, irritation of cervical nerves, vigorous movement, or even just sleeping in awkward positions.
How PCH Chiropractic Cares for Torticollis
Whether the patient is a newborn or an adult, we take a detailed history of the birth or the injury that might have caused the torticollis. This is done one on one with the doctor.
Detailed Chiropractic and Neurological Exams
We perform detailed exams to determine how it is affecting the body and to determine the root cause of the torticollis.
In some cases, digital X-rays are performed only in the areas in question and only when necessary. In many cases, younger patients may not need to have X-rays done. We take X-rays in-house with low-radiation equipment.
We use gentle, safe, and effective chiropractic adjustments to remove the subluxations (misalignments) in the cervical spine to restore the proper neurological functions of the body and proper communication from the brain to the cervical muscles.
Infant chiropractic adjustments are gentle, safe, and tailored to their tiny bodies. It doesn’t take much pressure to restore the proper alignment and function of their cervical spine. Each patient’s adjustments and care plan are unique and tailored to their individual needs. Not all patients receive the same care.
Depending on the root cause of the torticollis, we might send you home with some neck exercises and stretches you can do with your child or yourself if you are an adult suffering from torticollis.
With both adult and infant torticollis, the sooner we address the condition, the easier and faster we can resolve it. Infants and young children are known to respond very well to chiropractic care and can see results very rapidly. It is particularly important to address torticollis in infants as soon as possible, as it is known to lead to long-term problems.
Long-term issues are due to unequal brain stimulation at a crucial time of brain development. It is essential for both the right and left sides of the brain to be equally stimulated to have proper communication between the two hemispheres. In some cases, the child’s inability to move their head in one direction will impair the proper stimulation. This can lead to multiple neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD, vision impairments, Tourette’s syndrome, learning disabilities, oppositional defiance disorders, coordination difficulties, and developmental delays.
Since Chiropractic specializes in proper brain and nervous system function, it is known to have excellent results and help to care for patients suffering from torticollis.
Hobaek Siegenthaler M. Chiropractic Management of Infantile Torticollis With Associated Abnormal Fixation of One Eye: A Case Report. J Chiropr Med. 2015;14(1):51-56. doi:10.1016/j.jcm.2014.12.003
- Head tilt and/or head rotation to one side
- Trouble breastfeeding on both sides equally
- Trouble turning their head to one side and frustration when they are unable to do it completely
- Look at you over one shoulder instead of turning and following you with their eyes.
- Skull asymmetry
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Chiropractic help with torticollis?
Yes! Chiropractic has repeatedly shown promising results with torticollis. Gentle, safe, and specific adjustments to restore the proper alignments to the cervical spine helps to reduce the restriction in range of motion and muscle spasms effectively. The type of exercises recommended by the doctors at PCH Chiropractic in Dana Point/San Clemente are proven to be helpful.
Can a chiropractor help with torticollis in adults?
Yes, torticollis, the shortening of the SCM muscle, is commonly a symptom of nervous system dysfunction. When there’s inflammation in the nerves of the cervical spine, it can lead to muscle spasms in the muscles of the neck and causes the head to be stuck to one side. Chiropractors specialize in optimizing the function of your nervous system and can help fix the root cause of the torticollis and prevent it from happening again.
What happens if torticollis goes untreated in young children?
The longer torticollis is left untreated in children, the harder and longer it takes to resolve. It also leads to developmental delays, coordination difficulties, learning disabilities, ADHD, oppositional defiance syndrome, vision issues, and many more neurodevelopmental issues.
How long does it take to fix torticollis?
This depends on the cause of the Torticollis and how long it has been present. In infants, the process is usually fairly short, depending on the severity and the cause. The sooner it is addressed, the easier it is to resolve. In adults, it can take a couple of weeks to a few months, depending on the root cause of the Torticollis and how long the spinal alignments have been present.
Schedule an Appointment
Ready to discover the benefits of chiropractic care? At PCH Chiropractic, Drs. Palmer and Catherine Peet are here to help you get the most out of your life and obtain the highest standard of health and wellness. Book your appointment today.