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Short and Long Term Effects of Untreated Torticollis

Torticollis is the shortening/tightness of the muscles on one side of the neck, typically the Sternocleidomastoid muscle. It is a common diagnosis in infants and has many short term and long term effects if it is not treated.

Short Term Effects:

  • A tight neck muscle may be uncomfortable for your baby so they will not be able to turn their head to look and interact with their full environment, which may lead to a delay in their development.
  • If your baby is always looking in one direction, especially when on their back or laying in equipment, it places a lot of pressure on the back and side of their head. Your baby may develop a flatness on their head, which is known as plagiocephaly.  Plagiocephaly has many long term effects as well.
  • Your baby’s Asymmetric Tonic Neck Reflex (ATNR) will not be integrated. The ATNR can be seen when a baby turns their head to one side and the arm/leg on that side extend and the opposite arm/leg flex. Infants have many reflexes present in the first several months of life that help them initially navigate their environment; however, as they grow older these reflexes become integrated. Integrated means that they will not automatically demonstrate this pattern when they move a certain way. An integrated ATNR means that they can turn their head to both sides without automatic arm and leg movement. The ATNR helps an infant roll, but if it is not integrated, crawling and walking may be delayed.
  • Other musculoskeletal issues – Since your baby may not be able to turn their neck to see what is on the other side of their body, they may compensate by moving their spine or hip/pelvis in unnatural ways. This may lead to abnormalities in their spine alignment and hip dysplasia.

Long Term Effects:

  • Delays in crawling and/or walking.
  • Weak core strength may impact their ability to sit upright on the floor or in a chair. It may also affect their balance and may lead to more developmental delays in their gross and fine motor skills.
  • A head tilt may be present and noticeable during all developmental activities such as sitting, standing, walking and as they grow older, it may also affect their schoolwork.
  • Plagiocephaly, the flatness on the back/side of their head, alters the bony shape of their head which can lead to asymmetries in facial features that can be seen in their ears and eye positioning. Additionally, it may cause other developmental delays in gross motor, fine motor, language and cognitive skills

-Kelly Raines, PT, DPT

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Patient Reviews

Crystal Scheibe

Great place, glad we found them. Been going to Medina over 2 months now and he loves Lauryn and Kyler. Wish they had more ABA therapy places available... live in Wooster and long drive everyday.

Karrie Swan LaRock

My 11 year old son has dyslexia and has made noticeable gains in working At LLA THERAPY. Katie is strong in her approach toward him and also keeps him comfortable enough to perform well. We will continue visiting both the Fairlawn and Hudson offices and recommend them highly.

Ron Monroe

My 9 year old just completed about 9 months of weekly speech sessions (due to his stuttering) with Matt Hagge at LLA and we are thrilled with the experience and results. What I thought might be a negative (what kid really wants to go to speech class?) was made very positive by Matt, and my son never hesitated or complained when we talked about class. He really enjoyed it and really took what Matt taught him to heart. His speech has been greatly improved and we definitely recommend LLA. Thank you so much!

Heather Dougherty-Pantoja

My son’s Occupational Therapist, Jess, is an amazing OT! She gives practical tips on working with my son at home and school!

Terri Apgar

I cannot say enough good things about LLA Therapy. My daughter was a client of Teal Simmons’ for approximately 2 years and was just released from speech therapy! She was diagnosed with Apraxia in 2015 and worked with Teal twice a week. Through Teal’s application of PROMPT therapy, my daughter had age-appropriate speech after one year. All of the staff we interacted with at LLA were absolutely wonderful. They really care about what they do and making sure your child achieves their goals.

Kelli Geisler Davisson

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for my son as well as my family! My son always asks, "When can I go see Ms. Jeannine again, is it Monday??" He has also made huge gains in only 5 months! I would highly recommend LLA and have already shared my experience with friends looking for services!

Victoria Hansford-Price

We are so grateful for our Speech Therapist Ms.Teal. We have seen a great improvement with our sons confidence and communication abilities since we have started "Prompt" therapy. What we love the most about LLA and Ms. Teal is that Kohl feels comfortable and relaxed which has played a critical role in his progress. Thank you Ms. Teal for all you have done.

Laura Lee Hogsett

They have helped in numerous ways. Speech, OT and behavioral. I've had numerous compliments on my son's progress thanks in very large part to LLA. I would recommend LLA before I recommend our local children's hospitals, though they are good, they don't have the staff that LLA does.

Amy Furukawa

We had a great experience with Matt Hagge at LLA! Our Middle School age son was becoming very conscious of his voice, which is nasal due to a cleft palate. Matt helped him to better form his sounds and project his voice in a way that makes the unavoidable nasality less noticeable.Our son is more confident and outgoing & even took on a speaking role in the church play. Matt has the perfect personality to relate with our son, and we would recommend him to anyone needing speech therapy services!

Jessica Havalotti

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for our daughter. I would highly recommend LLA. Miss Grace was so amazing and I can't believe how quickly our daughter showed improvement. Thank you!
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