Torticollis, also known as “wryneck,” involves a muscular condition resulting in a tilted head. Interacting with the environment becomes difficult due to hindered neck mobility, hearing and seeing being negatively affected. Exercises for infants with torticollis concentrate on improving neck, shoulder and head mobility. Consult with your doctor first since not all exercises may be appropriate for every infant.
Gentle Head Turns
Exercises for infants with torticollis need to concentrate on gently stretching the infant's head in the opposite direction of the affected side to work on increasing neck-muscle length, according to the Texas Pediatric Surgical Associates. Lay your infant on her back. Place one hand onto the infant's chest to keep the child in place and another hand onto the opposite side of the infant's tilt. For instance, if your child's head tilts to the right, put your hand onto the right side of the head. Gently rotate the infant's head to the affected side. Hold the stretch for five seconds. Slowly return the head to original position. Relax for 10 seconds. Repeat the exercise 10 times. Do this exercise twice daily.
Assisted Upper-Body Flexing
Gently stretching out the neck and shoulder area plays a key role in treating torticollis, according to the Texas Pediatric Surgical Associates. Exercises for infants with torticollis need to include some assisted-flexing maneuvers that stretch in the opposite direction of the head tilt. Place the infant on her back. Gently place one of your hands onto the shoulder located on the tilt side. If the head tilts to the left, place your hand onto the left shoulder. Place your other hand onto the top of the infant's head. Gently pull the head away from the tilt side while gently pulling down on the shoulder to increase the stretch. Hold the stretch five seconds. Slowly return to the original position. Relax for 10 seconds. Repeat this exercise 10 times.
Playing in all positions, including sitting, assisted standing and lying on the tummy and back, plays a key role in properly treating torticollis, according to Children's Memorial Hospital. Start using your baby's crib or playpen as another way to fit in some exercises for infants with torticollis. Sit your child up in the crib or playpen. Place a toy on the opposite side of the head tilt, which will cause your infant to turn his eyes, head and neck in that direction. Hold the position five seconds. Remove the toy from overhead so that the infant returns to the normal position. Relax for 10 seconds. Repeat the exercise five times.
Tummy time plays an essential role in infant development. Start including some tummy-based maneuvers as part of your exercises for infants with torticollis regime. Place your infant tummy-side down onto your lap. Place one hand onto the infant's back for security purposes. Grab a toy with your opposite hand and place the toy slightly above the non-preferred side, which is the opposite side of the head tilt. When done correctly, this will force the infant to tilt her head and eyes upward. Hold this position for five seconds. Remove the toy and let the infant return to the original position. Relax for 10 seconds. Repeat the exercise 10 times.