Burleigh 07 5535 5218   Broadbeach 07 5539 8830

Torticollis in Children

Torticollis means “twisted neck”.

If an infant is born with a torticollis it is referred to as a congenital torticollis.

It is common in infants ~ 1 in 250 live births and can sometimes be from their position in the womb or a difficult delivery.

What are the signs and symptoms?

  • Infants with a true torticollis may present with palpable soft tissue lump/thickening in a sternocleidomastoid muscle (the muscles that connect the breast bone and collar bone to the skull).
  • They also usually tilt their head to one side and sometimes they prefer to turn their head just one way.
  • Torticollis is usually picked up in the first few months of life.
  • Some infants may also develop a flat spot on their head and this can sometimes be the first thing a family may notice.
  • Occasionally a torticollis presentation can be associated with other conditions.

How can I help my baby?


Torticollis usually isn’t painful for the infant and can usually resolve with gentle stretches and position changes/modifications in your day to day routines. These can be prescribed by a paediatric physiotherapist.

Sometimes if the child is not responding to the stretching and strengthening program the physiotherapist may discuss with your GP the option of an x-ray to determine if there is any underlying reason for the presentation.

A physiotherapist who has experience with children can assess the infant’s neck movements and develop a suitable program to stretch the tight muscles and strengthen the weaker muscles. The program usually includes activities to encourage looking to their non- preferred side and encouraging lots of tummy time when awake.

What is the prognosis?

If discovered early enough infants can usually respond to the exercise within 1-2 months if compliant with home program. Most resolve by the age of 12 months.

A small number may not resolve by 12 and may benefit from a review with an orthopaedic surgeon.

If you have concerns about a potential torticollis, please call to book with Chanelle, our Paediatric Physiotherapist on 5535 5218.

Gold Coast Physiotherapy and Allied Health at Burleigh Heads and Broadbeach 


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Our Response to Covid-19

This page is up to date to our best knowledge, however, this is a rapidly evolving situation so we apologise for any potential delay in updating this information.

We want to reassure all our patients that we are following stringent infection control procedures in our clinic, and screen all people coming into the clinic, to exclude any patients that have any signs or symptoms consistent with Covid-19, as well as screening any patients that should be in isolation ie recently returned from overseas, or have been advised to isolate due to recent exposure with a known Covid-19 patient.

All our staff have now completed the Department of Health Covid-19 Infection Control Training.

What are we doing to minimise risk?

  • Screening patients for risk factors over the phone or through text messages before they attend appointments. Those with risk factors or symptoms are advised not to attend & to seek medical advice.
  • Hand sanitiser station at the front of the building must be used before you enter.
  • Following stringent infection control measures within the clinic. This includes
    • Disinfecting all beds, door handles, EFTPOS machine before and after each patient use.
    • Linen changed between each patient and commonly touched surfaces through the practice are cleaned regularly throughout the day.
    • Minimising the distances between clients in the waiting room- some chairs are outside undercover.
  • We have advised our team members not to come to work if they have cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • We are following all Department of Health recommendations for our type of business.

On the 30th March 2020 – the Australian government issued a statement that “People aged over 70, aged over 60 with pre-existing conditions, or Indigenous people aged over 50 should stay home wherever possible for their own protection.”

The decision to come in for physiotherapy treatment really is an individual one – if you feel that your treatment is medically necessary, and are comfortable with the risks of leaving your home and coming to physiotherapy, then rest assured that when you attend our physiotherapy clinic, we are following our strict infection control processes and doing everything we can to minimise your risk whilst in our care. However, we completely understand if you are not comfortable with coming in for treatment.

TELEHealth Consultations

We are offering telehealth consults and home visits (where suitable) for patients who cannot attend our clinic.

Read more about TELEhealth Consultations here.

Staying Healthy

  • Wash your hands often (and for 20 seconds) with soap and water
  • Cough into your elbow or use a tissue to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • Social distancing practices – Avoiding close contact with others, such as touching, including shaking hands
  • Limit contact with people who are sick, and stay home if you are sick and encourage employees to stay home when sick
  • Get 7-8 hours’ sleep a night to help your immune system stay strong
Please stay safe and take care of each other!

We are monitoring the situation very closely and will make adjustments to our business as we are further informed. Our priority is the health & well being of our patients and our staff. Thanks for your understanding.

Product Enquiry