Öhman A, Nilsson S, Beckung E. Stretching treatment for infants with congenital muscular torticollis: physiotherapist or parents? A randomized pilot study. PM R. 2010 Dec;2(12):1073-9


OBJECTIVE: To investigate the time needed to achieve a good result in the range of motion (ROM) in the neck for infants with congenital muscular torticollis (CMT).

DESIGN: Comparison of stretching treatments performed by physical therapists and parents.

PARTICIPANTS: Twenty infants (10 female and 10 male) with CMT.

METHOD: The infants were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups. Stretching treatment was continued until a good ROM was obtained in both rotation (≥ 90°) and lateral flexion (no side difference). The main outcome measurement was treatment time. The infants were evaluated for ROM in rotation and lateral flexion, muscle function in the lateral flexor muscles of the neck, plagiocephaly, and head tilt.

RESULTS: The time needed to achieve a good result according to the ROM in the neck was significantly shorter (P < .001) in the physical therapist group than in the parent group. Symmetrical head posture was achieved sooner (P = .03) in the physical therapist group.

CONCLUSION: Infants with CMT gained good ROM and symmetric head posture approximately 2 months sooner when treated by an experienced physical therapist; however, interpretation of the results of this small study should be guarded. Further studies are needed to confirm these results.