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Congenital Muscular Torticollis (Twisted Neck)

Torticollis (Latin for "twisted neck") is a constant tilt in an infant's head to one side, with the chin pointing toward the shoulder rather than straight down. The cause of this crooked posture is unknown, but it may be a result of muscular, skeletal, neurological, or visual conditions. In congenital muscular torticollis (CMT), a shortening of the sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle on the side of the neck is seen from birth or early infancy.

Signs of this condition include a baby’s preference to turn the head only to one side rather than the other, and a flattening of the back or side of the head. A pediatrician or orthopedist can usually diagnose torticollis by examining the child, although, an ultrasound or X-ray may also be required.

Torticollis can affect the development of a baby’s senses – especially vision – and motor skills. It is important to seek treatment as early as possible. Learn more from the article and video series below.

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