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Torticollis and Chiropractic Care

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Posted on 04-26-2018

Welcoming a new baby into the world is unlike anything else you’ll experience in your lifetime. And for Dr. Gena Chiropractic, a leading pediatric chiropractor in Plantation and Greater Fort Lauderdale, we love sharing in the joy of your beautiful new addition.

And we’re also here to help keep your precious newborn healthy with chiropractic care.

Why might your new baby need chiropractic care, you ask? Great question!

Torticollis, which is Latin for “twisted neck,” is relatively common in newborns. While this doesn’t mean your child’s neck is “twisted,” exactly, it does mean that your baby has a tilted head or trouble turning his or her neck. Boys and girls are equally likely to develop the head tilt. It can be present at birth or take up to 3 months to develop, which is why having your newborn visit a favorite local chiropractor is essential.

Speaking of favorite local chiropractors, Dr. Gena has seen many babies and adolescent children with torticollis!

Many times, torticollis can start as soon as birth,” she says. “Often times whether there is pulling, pushing, vacuum extraction, or some complications during pregnancy or birth, they can contribute to causing a subluxation or issue with the upper cervical (neck) area. In some cases, we co-manage the chiropractic care with other modalities and providers such as physical therapy, rehabilitation, and/or cranial sacral therapy.”

There are two types of torticollis that we see in children: congenital and acquired.

The cause of congenital torticollis, according to this leading orthopedic website, “is unknown, however, it may be related to abnormal positioning (breech position, for example) or "crowding" of the baby while in the uterus. This results in an injury to the neck muscle that scars as it heals. The amount of scar in the muscle determines how tight the muscle is. Having tighter space in the uterus is more common for first-born children, who are more likely to have torticollis.”

Acquired torticollis typically happens to children as they grow, commonly from an athletic injury that results in damage to the neck muscles.

How do you know if your infant has torticollis? Look for these signs and symptoms from KidsHealth.com:

Tilting the head in one direction (this can be hard to notice in very young infants)

Preferring to look at you over one shoulder instead of turning to follow you with his or her eyes

If breastfed, have trouble breastfeeding on one side (or prefers one breast only)

Working hard to turn toward you and get frustrated when unable turn his or her head completely

While it is uncomfortable to see your beautiful new baby struggling with torticollis, it’s important to remember that this likely causes you more pain than it causes them! Torticollis is not a painful diagnosis and can be helped by regular chiropractic care to remove the subluxations in the C1/C2 areas of the spine, otherwise known as the bones at the top of your neck.


Visit Dr. Gena Chiropractic today for more information on how to help your baby with his or her torticollis. We are located in Plantation, just minutes west of Fort Lauderdale, and as we always say – your health is in your hands, but our hands are here to help!

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