Treating Torticollis: Stretching Exercises For Newborns

Stretching Exercises For Newborns

When little Sylas was born four weeks premature, the focus was to get him eating and breathing on his own so he could go home.

New mom Andrea and her husband Markus, spent all their time in the NICU at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, bonding with their newborn and learning how to take care of him. Three weeks later, he was ready to come home and the family of three headed home to their new life.

During a routine check-up with Sylas’s pediatrician a few days after he was discharged from the NICU, she noticed he favored his right side and wasn’t moving his head to look around. She suspected he might have Torticollis, a twisted neck in which the head is tipped to one side, while the chin is turned to the other. She provided a referral to Children’s Village for physical therapy.

Torticollis is fairly common in infants, affecting roughly one in 200 infants. It typically develops because of the baby’s position or growth pattern in the uterus.

“We caught the Torticollis really early,” Andrea said. “And with the help of our physical therapist Katie Buck at Children’s Village, we’ve been able to work with him at home to strengthen his muscles and help him to use his left side.”

Sylas is seen once a month for physical therapy and the family works with him doing exercises and stretching at home.

“Treating Torticollis with physical therapy is the best way to strengthen the neck muscles in an infant,” Children’s Village physical therapist Katie Buck said. “It’s been fun to watch Sylas grow and develop these last few months and he is just doing wonderfully.”

Now almost six months old, Sylas is making strides in his growth and development every day.

“We just love watching everything he’s doing,” Andrea said. “He is such a sweet boy and a joy in every way.”

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