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Babies and Torticollis

Click here to watch the webinar about babies and torticollis!

Torticollis can look different from child to child. The signs and symptoms are; a baby that prefers to turn their head to one side over the other, a baby with a head tilt, a baby who dislikes tummy time, a baby who will only nurse on one side or a baby that is very fussy.

Let’s go back to the basics…Nervous System

The nervous system controls everything! From the drainage of our kiddos ears, the immune system, digestion, going to the bathroom, sleep…everything! The body is SO intelligent. It knows how to heal us when we cut ourselves, how to fight off a cold or flu bug, digest our food and these are just a few examples.

So, what does it mean if our bodies are struggling with torticollis, frequent colds, ear infections, etc?

When kids have torticollis, it’s pretty clear that something is up. It’s just a matter of figuring our what that something is and fixing it!

At Revival, we find the root cause of these issues. Only then can you actually make progress in improving. Good news! We’re awesome at finding the root cause of peoples problems.

In torticollis, there are 3-4 causes that we hear from most parents.

  1. In-utero constriction
    • This is often a result of Mom not having balance in her pelvis. During pregnancy, Mom’s pelvis is the foundation of where the baby grows and develops. If her pelvis is out of balance, the uterus will be affected making the space smaller and more constricted.
  2. Breech
    • A breech baby can also have in-utero constraint but they are often in less than ideal positions within the uterus. These positions can cause the neck to be twisted or tilted. Unfortunately, this doesn’t just go away once baby is born.
  3. Stressful delivery
    • A stressful delivery for Mom is a stressful delivery for baby. We hear a lot of moms talk about babies who get “stuck” and this leads to a long labor. Often it means that the power from the contractions is pushing down on the baby and can cause strain to the head and neck muscles.
      Axial Traction during C-Section Delivery

      Axial Traction during C-Section Delivery

  4. C-section
    • A c-section is often done because of all 3 of the above. So you may have multiple factors contributing to your babies issue. C-section has it’s own physical challenges. Babies are pulled out of the uterus by their head/neck. This pulling causes 60-70 pounds of axial traction on the babies head. This causes a lot of strain on your babies delicate nervous system, muscles and ligaments.

Any of these factors can lead to subluxation. Subluxation is the chiropractic term for nerve interference. It has 3 factors:

  1. Misalignment – misalignments within the spine occur from all of the stresses above.
  2. Fixation – A misalignment becomes an issue when it is “fixed” or stuck in place.
  3. Nerve Interference – A misalignment that gets stuck causes nerve interference!

A nerve interference can cause the spasming in the neck muscles that causes torticollis.

What can you do about it?

There are a number of treatments that are most commonly recommended. They are:

  1. Botox injections
    • These will relax the muscle.
  2. Physical therapy
  3. Surgery
    • In this procedure the muscle that is spasming is cut.
  4. Wait to see what happens/do nothing
    • The problem with this is that when our kids “grow out” of something, they often grow IN to something else. For example; chronic ear infections, allergies, poor immune systems, reflux, the list goes on.

 There is a 5th option: Get your baby checked by a chiropractor.

We use state of the art technology that measures how the nervous system is functioning. This allows us to see if the issue is caused by the nerves. If it is, then we know we can help!

Here’s why the nerves are important in torticollis:

1 week old baby sleeping through his adjustment!

1 week old baby sleeping through his adjustment!

 The nerves control the muscles and the muscles move the bones. If there is a nerve interference, there will be issues with the muscles. This interference can cause the spasming and muscle issues that we see in torticollis. Once we know where the issue is in the system, our adjustments restore proper nerve function.

Our adjustments are gentle and don’t involve any twisting, cracking, popping or forcing your baby into uncomfortable positions. We target the nerves first so we can restore the nerve function and communication. This allows your baby’s body to heal and thrive as it’s meant to!


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