We’re going to talk about something called torticollis. Torticollis is a condition in a baby’s spine that tends to happen as a result of some kind of birth trauma. It is traumatic being born it’s dramatic for baby. It’s traumatic for mom. And so there are certain things that we can do. And so what happens, If your baby has torticollis if most of the time when you’re looking at baby, you’ll see that their head is slightly turned to the side or slightly turned to the side and then rotate it a little.
Why it happens
And that position is happening because the muscles have gotten really tight in an abnormal way, on one side in the neck. So it causes lateral flexion and rotation. And so you’ll see that in baby that position. And if you try to, change positions or do something different you’ll notice that.
They’re comfortable position will still be slightly rotated and bent over to the side. So what do we do about that? There’s a couple of things that tends to create it. There’s a tightness in the sternocleidomastoid muscle. That name really is important. Isn’t important, but it’s the muscle that connects your skull.
To the front of your sternum. And so that muscle, as it gets tight, elaborate flexes and turns the head. And so we’ve got to release that muscle.
The spine cause of torticollis
We also have nerves that feed that muscle usually coming right out of C1, C2. So there’s usually an imbalance in the upper part of the neck. And so the way that we correct that is with a couple of things, one are adjustments.
So we start with finding those areas that are out of. And we work on correcting that. So a very gentle adjustment. Whenever we see babies in here there’s never any hard or forceful or cracking or anything like that, adjustments are really easy. And a lot of our babies smile, kinda like this one hand was like this one here.
It’s so much easier to show you this with a doll and then with a real baby, they’re pretty darn wiggly, but so a very gentle adjustment to the area where things are out of position. And then there’s certain exercises that we do that are going to help to improve the position of the head. So we’ll talk about just a couple of them really quick.
Exercises for torticollis
The first one again, if baby’s. Is shifted over to the left and turn the opposite direction. What we want to do is get baby to do the opposite of that. So we’re going to hold baby on the left side, if their baby is turned to the left. And one reason why we do that. Is because what babies on the side is natural desire is going to be to pick himself up.
So he’s going to lift his head in this direction, which is great. Cause that’s what we want to avoid right now that call us has baby with his head rotated this way. So we’ll hold him on the left side so that he naturally wants to hold his head up. So that’s the first thing that we do. And as baby is trying to hold his head up, we reach under with our other.
When we take the shoulder, when we hold the shoulder the entire shoulder pretty firmly, and we just gently pull back. We gently pull back this way. And so as we’re pulling back this way, we’re bringing the shoulder down as the head is turning this way. C and so as we do that, we just gently pull about five seconds and relax and do that again.
Two or three times. So you that five seconds, two or three times, you repeat that a few times a day and over time, we’ll start to see some stretching of that muscle. Now, sometimes it takes a couple of adjustments to get that, to really balance. Usually over, over two to three weeks, we’re working with baby to get on top of something like.
And those exercises you’ll do, you’ll actually do at home and you’ll do them at home every day for a while, until we start to see enough change. But when we put those pieces together, we can see some pretty fantastic changes. Some of the other things that we do is tell me time is really important.
And so when babies, and tell me time, they don’t really look like this because. They’re usually holding themselves up, they’re holding their head up and we want to activate those muscles that are holding the head up. And so typically what we want to do is again, we want to see what direction is the baby turning his head more often.
So we have this left Ben and they were turning to the right. So instead of turning to the right, I want baby to start turning to the left. And so what we do is we position ourselves. Or other objects that are interesting over to the left so that baby will turn to look at them. And that’s what we do we have.
And there are a number of other things that we can do, but we’re going to be real simple for two. Tummy time, have them looking in the opposite direction of that preferred imbalance that they have. And then while holding baby the side, the baby likes to bend his head. You’ll hold them on that side. So they’ll naturally try to hold themselves up.
You’ll reach underneath, you’ll take the shoulder and you’ll pull on the shoulder. Now you’re not grabbing the hand and pulling on the arm that can create a problem. You take the whole show. And you distract you pull on that shoulder and that will stretch out the muscles. And over time, we’ll see changes in the store, call us.
And we want to make sure that we do that because if you don’t do it, we’ll start to see things like a misshapen head. We’ll see cranial imbalance the eyes in the wrong position, all kinds of things can happen if this is allowed to become more serious or if it’s allowed to stay for an extended period of time.
So it was early as we can. We want to take care of this. All right guys, I’m doctor Emil Tompkins, have a great day. And you’ve learned about torticollis. We’ll see you on the next video.