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New born babyWe have spoken to you in the past about how a difficult childbirth can affect the spinal health of your infant. Today, we wanted to go a bit more in-depth on that subject, and what you can do to remedy it.

Torticollis translates to “twisted neck” in Latin. Babies with this issue can have it occur either in utero or during the birth itself, particularly when forceps or a suction is implemented.

These factors put pressure on a baby’s sternocleidomastoid muscle (SCM). This large, rope-like muscle runs on both sides of the neck from the back of the ears to the collarbone. Extra pressure on one side of the SCM can cause it to tighten, making it hard for a baby to turn his or her neck.

Both boys and girls are equally susceptible to torticollis, and this problem may not present itself for a few months. Signs include the baby regularly tilting his or her head to one side, preferring to be breastfed on only one side, and working to turn the head to face you, only to show frustration when unable to rotate.

Treating Torticollis

The best way to treat torticollis is by encouraging your baby to turn his or her head in both directions.

When your baby is ready to eat, try to feed from the bottle or breast by dissuading him or her to turn away from the favoured side (you may find this easiest when baby is truly hungry).

Be mindful of car seats, where it’s easy for your child to slump into one position. Use rolled-up towels to prop the head on either side into a neutral position.

While playing, use toys and different sounds to get your baby’s head turning in both directions.

Remember, above all, that chiropractic is an extremely effective and gentle way to treat infants. Through careful spinal adjustment – where the doctor will cradle your baby – subluxations can be corrected in the cervical spine. Nerve function is increased, and tight muscles will relax. Chiropractic is a wonderful way to remedy torticollis, alongside the tips we have shared.

If you or a loved one has an infant that is displaying these symptoms, please give Hazeldean Family Chiropractic Clinic a call today. We have witnessed time and again that babies respond beautifully to chiropractic care, and would treasure the chance to help heal the newest addition to your family.

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