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What is Torticollis? Facts and Treatment Options

Magdalena Oledzka, Pediatric Physical Therapist

What is Torticollis? Did you know that Torticollis is the third most common congenital deformity after hip dislocation and clubfoot? Magda Oledzka, Physical Therapist and Section Manager for Pediatric Rehabilitation at Hospital for Special Surgery, explains, “Torticollis is a term to describe the tilting of a child’s head to one side. Congenital Muscular Torticollis (CMT) is the most common type of torticollis in infants, and is characterized by the shortening of the sternocleidomastoid muscle (a muscle that bends and turns the neck).”

The traditional approach to treatment of CMT is physical therapy and involves range of motion exercises, strengthening and a positioning program. Magda says, “Parents participate with their baby’s treatment with a home exercise program that consists of stretches for the baby’s neck, positioning for play, sleeping, and the stroller, and play activities to promote symmetrical development. ‘Tummy time’ is a great activity and is recommended at least 15 minutes, 4 times a day.”

Magdalena Oledzka is a pediatric physical therapist and is the section manager at the CA Technologies Rehabilitation Center at the Lerner’s Children’s Pavilion, Hospital for Special Surgery. She is NDT trained in the management and treatment of children with cerebral palsy and other neuromotor disorders. Magdalena has been practicing yoga for 12 years and has taken a 7 day basic course on Yoga for the Special Child with Sonia Sumar.

Topics: Featured, Pediatrics
The information provided in this blog by HSS and our affiliated physicians is for general informational and educational purposes, and should not be considered medical advice for any individual problem you may have. This information is not a substitute for the professional judgment of a qualified health care provider who is familiar with the unique facts about your condition and medical history. You should always consult your health care provider prior to starting any new treatment, or terminating or changing any ongoing treatment. Every post on this blog is the opinion of the author and may not reflect the official position of HSS. Please contact us if we can be helpful in answering any questions or to arrange for a visit or consult.