What is it?

Torticollis is when the head is tilted towards a direction. In most cases, torticollis is congenital, but there can also be an acquired condition. It is caused by a shortened sternocleidomastoid muscle, which turns the head from side to side. It could be due to the baby’s position in the womb or because of a traumatic delivery. It coold also be caused due to damage to the muscles or blood supply.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Sandifer syndrome

Signs & symptoms

Torticollis symptoms may include rotation of the head to one side, while the chin is turned to the other side, movement of the head is not easily achieved, a soft lump on the baby’s neck muscle, the baby prefers looking over the shoulder, they have trouble breastfeeding from one side and they might get irritated when trying some movements.


Torticollis is diagnosed on a physical examination, imaging tests can be done to rule out other causes.


Torticollis treatment is with physiotherapy and exercises that strengthen and stretch the neck muscles. Acquired torticollis can be treated according to the reason, applying heat, massage, physical therapy, traction and neck braces are all options. Surgery can also be suggested.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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