Breech babies are often born with muscular irregularities. Like Torticollis, these common conditions are characterized by the tightening of the muscles in infants. This condition is caused by the baby’s head tilting to one side while the chin points to the opposite shoulder. This diagnosis is most common in babies that were breached during birth or babies that have been born premature.
Muscle stiffness can result from the infant’s positioning in the womb and it leads to the tightening of muscles. It can also be caused by an injury of the muscles during childbirth or due to factors such as abnormal development of the baby’s muscles. Common symptoms in infants include head tilting and limited motion from muscle movement. In many cases babies prefer to feed on one side and if left untreated, muscle stiffness can lead to skull flattening on one side of the head, also known as positional plagiocephaly.
One of the most prevalent ways in which muscle stiffness affects infant development is the stiffening of various muscle groups. Early intervention is essential and treatment typically involves gentle stretching exercises as well as physical therapy to improve the flexibility and strength of the muscles. Instructions given to parents on how to perform exercises at home can help with the development process and it is essential for infant development and improvement.
Physical therapy is an essential part of the development and curation of infant muscle stiffness. Having the right staff and right professionals that are able to guide parents through this difficult process can be a differentiator in treatment and progress. It’s crucial to consult a pediatrician and physical therapist if you suspect your child has been diagnosed with torticollis. Early detection is best and can improve neck mobility for your child as they begin to develop past the infant stage.