If you have noticed several signs of Torticollis in your baby, your next step is an evaluation with a pediatric physical therapist. Before you go, it may help ease your stress if you know what to expect.
What will the therapist do with your baby?
A physical therapist will look for a variety of things during the assessment including:
- Range of motion of the neck muscles – The therapist will gently turn your baby’s head to both sides to see if any of the muscles in the neck are tight and may need to be stretched
- Strength of the neck muscles – The therapist will have your baby turn their head to both sides as well as up and down to see the strength of the muscles in the neck
- Head Shape – The therapist will look to see if there is any flatness on your baby’s head, which is common with the diagnosis of torticollis
- Gross Motor Skills Development – The therapist will place your baby in a variety of positions such as on their back, side and belly to see if their gross motor skills are age appropriate
How long will the evaluation take?
For your baby’s evaluation with an LLA pediatric physical therapist, it can take approximately an 1 hour for the assessment process and to discuss a treatment plan with you.
Should I bring anything to the evaluation?
You may want to bring any toys that your baby enjoys looking at/interacting with. Often your baby will be more comfortable with familiar toys that they use at home. This is helpful to the therapist so that they can see a true picture of what your baby typically does at home.
After the therapist has assessed your baby, they will discuss the findings and a treatment plan with you.
- Assessment Summary – The therapist will let you know if they notice any concerns with your baby’s neck range of motion, neck strength, head shape, gross motor skills and/or any other relevant information they find during the assessment.
- Treatment Plan – The therapist will discuss how often and for how long you and your baby can expect to come for treatment. They will also teach you how to perform daily stretches with your baby at home. Last, the therapist will give you tips and strategies for what to do at home to help your baby improve their range of motion, strength, head shape and gross motor skills.
Remember to ask as many questions as you need if you do not understand the findings of the assessment or if you feel uncertain about how to perform the daily stretches or how to carry out the tips and strategies at home that are recommended. You are an important part of your baby’s life and of their treatment, so here at LLA, our Physical Therapists want you to feel confident and comfortable!
To schedule an appointment for your baby’s evaluation, call us at (330) 867-2240 or click here!
-Kelly Raines, PT, DPT