How can Physical Therapy Remedy the Different Types of Torticollis Condition

How can Physical Therapy Remedy the Different Types of Torticollis Condition


Torticollis is a condition that occurs when the muscle that runs up and towards the back of the neck becomes tight, weakened or thickened, causing the head to tilt. This disease that affects infants is generally diagnosed within the first 2 months of their life. However, there have been exceptions where torticollis was diagnosed in adults as well.

Types of torticollis

There are 5 basic forms of torticollis:

  • Congenital muscular torticollis

This is one of the most common forms of infact torticollis. It usually affects infants and is often caused by birth trauma or by sleeping or remaining in one position for a prolonged period of time.

  • Ocular torticollis

Ocular torticollis is the result of a vision problem in one eye. This causes the patient to tilt their head constantly to see well.

  • Spasmodic torticollis

This condition occurs in older children and adults, often due to infection, inflammation, trauma, or the side effects of certain medications and/or drugs such as Ketamine, Cocaine, Prochlorperazine and Haloperidol.

  • Acute torticollis

Acute torticollis occurs in both children and adults. It is commonly caused due to bends or twists in the neck and often results in the neck muscle to become tender.

  • Postural torticollis

When the head tilt is inconsistent i.e. it comes and goes, the patient is said to be suffering from postural torticollis. Postural torticollis is often caused due to lack of variety of positions.

The role of physiotherapy

Regardless of the patient’s age, physical therapy is the primary treatment for all forms of torticollis. This is because physical therapy has treatments dedicated to address the impairments that are caused by torticollis.

The treatment procedures adopted to treat these ailments aim to strengthen neck muscles, correct muscle imbalance, gain pain-free movement and improve postural control and symmetry. For these purposes, various stretching exercises, massages, positioning and taping are used. While other forms of treatment are available, it is always advisable to treat the different types of torticollis condition using physiotherapy, because unlike other medical treatments, physiotherapy has no side effects.

What kind of physiotherapist do I visit?

Generally, all physical therapists are prepared through education and experience to treat a variety of conditions, including torticollis. However, if you want extra care for your condition, consider the following options:

  • Physical therapists who specializes in neurological physical therapy and are experienced in treating individuals with torticollis. Such therapists have advanced knowledge, experience, and skills in the concerned field.

  • If the patient is a child, opt for a pediatric physical therapist

For more assistance and information on torticollis, contact your nearest physiotherapist.