Torticollis, also known as wry neck, is a medical condition occurring in infants that causes the neck to lock up, often while twisted to one side. This can be very uncomfortable for your baby and lead to many sleepless nights for you and your family, and if left untreated, it can cause permanent damage to the nerves and spine. In most cases, doctors can only offer the choice of limited pain management or spinal surgery to resolve torticollis in infants, but chiropractic therapy may be able to provide more beneficial and less invasive care. Read on to learn how a pediatric chiropractor can help correct your infant's torticollis or even prevent it in the first place.
Preventing the Development of Torticollis
Children who experience a difficult birth or are awkwardly positioned in the womb are more prone to congenital torticollis than others. If you suspect that your newborn may be at risk for torticollis, an infant chiropractor may be able to prevent the problem before it begins through delicate spinal adjustments and muscle massages. Improving flexibility in a single muscle, the sternocleidomastoid in your baby's neck, can nip wry neck in the bud and spare your baby many painful and sleepless nights.
Adjusting Your Child's Spine
If your infant has already contracted torticollis, visit his or her doctor first for a medical diagnosis. Some forms of torticollis indicate an underlying issue that could only be made worse through chiropractic therapy. The most common types of wry neck, however, tend to respond well to chiropractic care and are safe when performed by a trained pediatric specialist. The minor adjustments used in treating torticollis will gradually open up your baby's range of motion and encourage muscle growth while the torticollis heals.
Improving Your Baby's Comfort
Besides speeding up your baby's recovery in a safe and supervised environment, this chiropractic therapy can also relieve some of the soreness and discomfort of torticollis, soothing your baby further with each new appointment. If you feel like you haven't slept in weeks since your baby's diagnosis, your child's chiropractor may be able to encourage more restful nights and fewer frustrating days.
Plagiocephaly is a common side-effect of torticollis that develops when a baby is unable to rest its head in different positions. Eventually, the soft skull settles into a flat spot, which can be unsightly and unsettling for you as a parent. Plagiocephaly usually goes away naturally once the torticollis is resolved, but doctors sometimes recommend that your baby wear a helmet to help train the skull back into place and protect it from trauma. Your chiropractor can help massage your baby's skull back into its proper shape over the course of several exams, reducing the time needed to heal significantly in the process. Torticollis may be inconvenient and stressful, but the services of a good pediatric chiropractor can make the recovery process as quick and painless as possible for both you and your infant. Contact your local chiropractor, like those at Vanderloo Chiropractic or a similar location, for more information.