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Torticollis is a disease in a newborn. Causes, symptoms and treatment.

Torticollis in a newborn child is a disease of the muscles and spine, in which the baby’s head is constantly tilted to the side. It appears due to abnormal development of muscles in the cervical region. Outwardly, the torticollis looks as if the baby laid his head on his shoulder. The disease must be treated immediately after its diagnosis. The longer the treatment of torticollis in a newborn is delayed, the more difficult and longer it will be necessary to eliminate it.

Signs of torticollis in a newborn
The congenital appearance can be noticed immediately after the birth of the baby until he reaches half a month of age. Acquired may be a consequence of the disease. Also, the curvature of the neck appears due to the incorrect position of the child in the crib, when the baby is always on one side.

Symptoms of torticollis:

Asymmetry of the face: one side is a little lowered.
The baby cries and resists when they try to straighten his head in a normal position.
A swelling in the collar area, a muscle is secreted that is visible in the neck area.
Head movements are constrained and almost impossible. The kid does not hold his head.
If you do not discern this ailment in the early stages, it can become obvious and noticeable when the child is about 5 years old. And this can cause other related problems. If you do not start treatment immediately, the baby may experience:

Auricle deformity;
Abnormal development of the jaw;
Malocclusion;
Asymmetry of the eyes and mouth;
Scoliosis;
Hearing impairment;
Strabismus;
Persistent headache.
Causes of torticollis in a newborn
Curvature of the baby’s neck can occur even inside the womb, and may appear after birth under the influence of some factors. It can be caused by such reasons as:

Severe birth and postpartum trauma;
Incorrect position of the fetus in the womb;
Inflammation in the cervical and thoracic regions;
Skin injuries, including burns;
Fetal hypoxia;
The tone of the cervical muscles, etc.
Diseases of the muscles and nerves of the cervical spine;
Problems with the cervical joints and vertebrae.
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The treatment plan, which will be prescribed by the doctor who diagnosed torticollis, depends on the cause of its appearance. Sometimes torticollis is just a symptom of another problem. If torticollis is caused by another disease, then treating only curvature can be not only useless, but also harmful. Therefore, it’s dangerous to turn to “grandmother healers” and other non-professional doctors for a massage.

How to diagnose torticollis in a newborn
At the first suspicions of torticollis, you must immediately consult a pediatrician, who, if necessary, will give direction to an orthopedist, neurologist and other specialists.

First of all, the baby is examined internally, palpations of the neck are performed. Depending on the age and condition of the child, ultrasound of the soft tissues, MRI and x-ray of the cervical spine are performed. This is necessary in order to exclude serious damage to muscles, bones and joints.

In any case, without a thorough study, you cannot independently seek a diagnosis and, especially, self-medicate. Treatment should be carried out strictly under the supervision of a physician.

Treatment methods
Therapy for a baby with torticollis depends on the degree and type of disease. First of all, the doctor should tell parents about how to properly lay the baby in the crib and how to carry it in their arms – this is the basis of treatment and correction of the disease.

With crank muscle, a newborn is prescribed a course of massage, physiotherapy, therapeutic physical culture, etc. Also helps to restore neck muscles therapeutic swimming. During sleep and cribs, the orthopedist can prescribe a special cervical collar that fixes the correct position of the head. If torticollis is neglected and traditional procedures do not help, then most likely it will be necessary to correct posture surgically. That is why it is important not to delay the treatment of the child!

Neck collar with torticollis

Massage for a newborn with torticollis should be selected by a doctor individually for each child. The force of pressure on the muscles, the intensity of movements – all this is extremely important to consider. Therefore, for a massage you need to contact only a specialist.

Torticollis prophylaxis
In order to prevent torticollis in a newborn, it is important to remember some rules:

Lay the baby in the crib in the even position of the neck. Change the child’s position so that he doesn’t always sleep on one side.
Carry the newborn in your arms while holding the head in the correct position.
Using an orthopedic pillow for a newborn can significantly reduce the risk of an incorrect crib position.

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