Congenital muscular torticollis, its physiotherapy management and differential diagnosis
Chinelo Nkemdilim Onwunzo
Congenital muscular torticollis (CMT) is a neck deformity that involves shortening of the sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle resulting in limited neck rotation and lateral flexion. This results in a head tilt to the affected side and rotation to the contralateral side. This occur due to some underlying factors, such as genetic/physiological abnormality, improper positioning of the fetus while still in the uterus, or circumstances surrounding birth delivery. Presence of limited range of motion in the neck that makes it difficult for the baby to turn the head sideways, then up and down which is one of the symptoms presentation. Proper diagnosis of congenital muscular torticollis will lead to the treatment given for the condition. Physiotherapy treatment involves positioning, stretching, strengthening and neuromuscular facilitation; also home exercise program is involved. In general, most conditions give similar presentation to congenital muscular torticollis, therefore proper assessment with differential diagnosis leads to proper diagnosis.