Macdonell Family


Torticollis is a condition where the neck muscles become shorter on one side than the other. It will cause your baby’s head to be pulled towards the shoulder on the tight side, and their chin may turn away to the opposite side. As babies are placed on their backs to sleep, the increased pressure on one side of the back of the head may also cause changes to their head shape.

The following describes: Right Sided Torticollis (the right neck muscle(s) are tight).

Signs and Symptoms:

  •  You may notice your baby has trouble turning their head side to side and will often turn to a preferred side (left)
  •  You may notice a tilt to your babies head: they may hold their head with right ear close to their right shoulder. Often noticeable when baby is in a car seat or on their back
  •  You may notice a flattening on the back or side of the head (in this case, likely left back portion of head)
  •  Your baby may become fussy when trying to change position of their head and/or if they aren’t able to lift or turn their head during tummy time

Not to worry! There are many ways paediatric physiotherapy can help! Your physiotherapist will provide exercises, stretches, education and positioning tips to help improve your babies head position. 

  •  Stretches: performed daily, with a focus on gently achieving full range of motion of the neck
  •  Tummy Time: placing the baby on their tummy each day is important in order to strengthen the muscles in their neck, shoulders and back. As well, it will help to reduce pressure on the back of the skull. This task should always be supervised and the time tolerated will depend on the babies age
  •  Positions: specific positions for carrying, feeding and interacting with baby that can help encourage turning their head to the right.

As each situation is unique, always consult a registered health professional who has additional training and expertise working with paediatrics, such as myself, to help create a management plan that’s effective and safe for you and your baby! For more information: or 613-935-5550.