Benefit of physiotherapeutic treatment in children with torticollis

Lena Conny Hautopp, Susanne Wester, Birgitte Bang, Lise Buus, Jette Grindsted, Karen Christensen, Birgit Knudsen, Anders Møllesøe Vinther

10 Citations (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION: The incidence of torticollis, which is often accompanied by some degree of plagiocephaly in infants, has remained increased since the introduction of the supine sleeping position to prevent sudden infant death. Recently, instruments allowing quantitative measurement of torticollis and related pathology have been developed and validated. The aim of the present study was to monitor a cohort of children with torticollis using a standardised protocol including valid and reliable measurements.

METHODS: A total of 136 infants diagnosed with torticollis and referred to physiotherapeutic treatment in four paediatric departments were included (October 2009-April 2011). Trained and calibrated physiotherapists assessed their cervical range of motion (ROM), cervical muscle function and severity of plagiocephaly prior to and after the treatment period.

RESULTS: The infants' median age was three months at inclusion and seven months at the end of the treatment period that comprised a median of five treatment sessions. Initially, 52% and 54% presented with ROM deficits in rotation and lateral flexion, respectively. After treatment, these parts were reduced to 6% and 14%, and the magnitudes of the remaining ROM deficits were substantially reduced. Plagiocephaly improved in 82, remained unchanged in 18 and deteriorated in five of 105 infants with complete follow-up. Symmetrical or almost symmetrical muscle function was achieved in 93% (n = 101).

CONCLUSION: A successful outcome was achieved in the majority (90%) of children with torticollis with less than ten physiotherapeutic treatment sessions.

FUNDING: not relevant.


Original languageEnglish
JournalDanish Medical Bulletin (Online)
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)A4970
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


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