The other side of Torticollis (CMT) – Plagiocephaly.

Posted on March 19, 2011 by admin No Comments

By far the most common diagnosis one treats for pediatric physical therapy is torticollis- also referred to as congenital muscular torticollis or wryneck – and often added to the diagnosis is plagiocephaly.
Plagiocephaly can certainly sound intimidating. Many Parents of my NYC pediatric physical therapy patients will have researched both diagnosis. It is a lot easier to measure small improvements in torticollis – while research is not clear as to what causes plagiocephaly, what treatments work, and duration of treatment –
I also can’t answer the above definitively, but physical therapy is effective in helping these children.
Flat areas on the skull are exacerbated by a child’s early lack of symmetrical movement when lying in supine or on their back – which is what we see in torticollis, where the child turns or focuses most of their attention to one side. From my treatment perspective it is critical to catch these very early – since the solution is for the child to actively turn their head to both sides, and as long as their primary position is lying on their back the pressure of their skull rotating to both sides will improve the symmetry of their skull. Early treatment is imperative since children will move away from the supine position between 3 and 6 months: Once they are not lying on their backs you will no longer have the benefits of their skull rotating against the floor to assist in the correction of the flat spot.

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