Congenital Torticolis

Congenital torticollis is due to tightness in sternocleidomastiod muscle. The cause is uncertain, but is possibly due to positioning in the womb or after a difficult childbirth.

  • Baby has a tilted head or difficulty turning his or her neck to one side
  • It can be present at birth or take up to 3 months to develop.
  • Torticollis usually resolves with simple position changes or stretching exercises .
  • Sometimes it is associated with positional plagiocephaly (flat head), due to the baby lying with its head turned to one side all the time.
  • Baby may have a small lump or bump in the affected muscle, which tends to resolve as the torticollis improves.

How can physiotherapy help?

Our specialist physiotherapists will undertake a thorough examination and an in-depth history to confirm the diagnosis. We will then provide advice regarding positioning and carrying the baby and provide exercises and activities that will help the baby to regain movement in the neck.

The Association of Paediatric Physiotherapists (APCP) website has a useful parent information leaflet on Head Turning Preference and Plagiocephal: APCP :