What is Infant Torticollis and how do I help my baby? Infant Torticollis can be scary for new parents, and stressful on a child’s health. 

Torticollis Colic Vermont Chiropractic Pediatrics Baby Infant.jpg

Infant Torticollis is often diagnosed as “Congenital Muscular Torticollis”. Stanford Children’s Hospital defines this as “Congenital muscular torticollis is a condition in which an infant’s neck muscle is shortened, causing the neck to twist. Congenital means present at birth and torticollis means twisted neck.”

This can occur after a difficult birth, and is more common when the baby is delivered breech. During delivery, the SCM (muscle that goes from the jawbone to the collarbone and sternum) can be stretched or pulled, causing tightening of the muscle and putting the head to one side. It can also result in a structural shift of the spine, keeping the baby’s neck in position. 

This may be noticeable shortly after birth, or may develop weeks or months later. Although each child is different,(2) the most common secondary conditions are:   The baby’s head tilting to one side, the child’s chin turns up and away toward the opposite side, having difficulty turning the head to one side, and having difficulty breastfeeding on one side (preferring one breast only).

Conventional approches typically begin with various home exercises to do with the baby, encouraging them to move their head more in a certain direction and stretching. If that is not enough, then a next step may be rounds of physical therapy. If that does not resolve the torticollis, extreme cases can be referred for surgery, in which some of the muscle will be cut to allow it to lengthen. 

In all of those approaches, they may be missing an underlying cause and solution: the misalignment and structural shift in the neck.(1)  If left uncorrected, this can lead to problems later in development. It is common for parents to bring their children into the office with torticollis, colic and trouble latching. 

After performing an extensive pediatric examination, a gentle correction is made to the underlying structural shift in the spine, allowing proper movement and function of the baby.  

In most cases, the secondary conditions resolve with proper correction and upper cervical chiropractic care. This is done very gently and specifically, without and twisting or cracking of more conventional manipulative approaches. To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Bogan, click Here

Dr. Allison Bogan is certified in Webster technique. She is currently only accepting pediatric and pregnancy patients at Precision Chiropractic in Williston, Vermont. 
Precision is located in Northern Vermont, serving the greater Burlington area and the North East.


1. Reduction of Congenital Torticollis in a Four Month Old Child with Vertebral Subluxation: A Case Report and Review of Literature"    Pamela Stone-McCoy, BS, DC, FICPA,  Nova A Grande, DC,  Isabelle Roy BA, DC
J. Vertebral Subluxation Res. Jan 7, 2008
2. Chiropractic Management of Infantile Torticollis with Associated Abnormal Fixation of One Eye: A Case Report
Mette Hobaek Siegenthaler, DC     Journal of Chiropractic Medicine (2015) 14, 51-56