What is Torticollis? Symptoms & Treatment

I had noticed — when one of my baby twins was around three months old — he had trouble turning his head to the right. In fact, he favoured his left side so much, his little neck looked permanently twisted.

I Googled the symptoms and came up with this…


According to the NHS: ‘Torticollis or “wry neck” is commonly caused by a spasm of the
muscles in the neck. It gives the appearance of the neck being in a tilted position. This causes pain and discomfort, particularly on moving the neck. Most children feel better after pain relief and rest from activities.’

After doing a little more research, it seemed that Torticollis is a common complaint with many babies. And more often with multiples; in fact, around 1 in 250 babies will show symptoms.

How do You Diagnose Torticollis?

Torticollis is fairly easy to identify,  according to a number of websites I looked at.

The most frequently advised way of determining the symptoms is to place your baby on his back,  so he is facing upward.

Don’t manually turn your baby’s head but attract his attention — first to one side and then the other. The baby should be able to turn his head with ease. And look equally to the left and to the right. In other words, the baby’s chin should be able almost to touch the left and right shoulders.

Bertie definitely favoured his left over the right and this could be seen when he slept, fed, played on a mat or had some tummy time. He was also a lot ‘shakier’ than his brother. Cosmo has had pretty good head control for a while, but Bertie still had a bit of a ‘bobble-head’.

How Can I Help Torticollis to Get Better?

At the four-month check-up, I asked the health visitor if I should take my son to the GP, but, interestingly, she said not to.

She advised that it was very likely we wouldn’t be referred for treatment, initially, but would be sent away for six months and told to return if it didn’t improve.

She then told me about a fantastic clinic in Northampton — The Maple Tree Clinic  — and advised me to take Bertie to see a practitioner called Christophe Becquereau.

I didn’t rush to make the appointment, at first. I wanted to see if it would improve with time (as suggested in a couple of write-ups I’d looked at). But a couple of months later, we decided it wasn’t looking much better so I booked him in for a visit.

Treatment of Torticollis with Cranial Osteopathy

Off we went, en masse, to the clinic. Getting out of the house with the twins used to require clever planning! But we figured it was best if my husband and I were both there to listen to the prognosis.

The clinic was really modern and Christophe was charming; he’s a friendly Frenchman who has a lovely, easy way with the babies.

He explained what was wrong with Bertie’s neck and how he would treat it. Then he sat with Bertie and very gently began to work his magic.

He took before and after pictures and let us see them after finishing the treatment.

Before and After Results From Just One Treatment

Before and after pictures - Torticollis treatment after one 10 minute session.
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

The results were pretty staggering!!

After just one 10-minute session, Bertie’s posture had dramatically improved and we could see from the before and after shots how much Christophe had helped him, in such a short space of time.

And — proof of the pudding — just hours after he’d had his first consultation, we witnessed our beautiful, firstborn son sleeping with his head facing the other way!


Here’s an excerpt from my diary, from the day after Bertie’s first Torticollis treatment.

I have been watching him quite carefully today and the increased movement in his neck is incredible. He has not only been sleeping with his head facing the right side — which we haven’t seen him do since he was born — but while he has been playing he’s been looking up and twisting around! Still a little bit shakier than his twin, but a huge improvement and SO much better than yesterday!!!

I am so, so pleased.

We have to go back in two months’ time, for another check-up but, until then, I’m looking forward to seeing my baby’s movement improve in the meantime.

Caro Davies – The Listed Home

In Conclusion

For any parents who have suspicions that their little one may have Torticollis — or ‘Wry Neck’ — I would wholeheartedly recommend taking your baby to an osteopath that specialises in babies and children. 

Torticollis — or ‘Wry Neck’ is relatively easy to treat in infants, and I’m, so pleased we had Bertie treated. The change in movement from evident after just one session; it must have felt like such a relief for him!

There’s much to be said for word of mouth and I’m so grateful for our health visitor’s advice.

I hope this advice helps you too.

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Caro Davies is a former art-director turned writer and content-creator, and editor behind UK lifestyle blog The Listed Home. She writes about home-related topics, from interiors and DIY to food and craft. The Listed Home has been featured in various publications, including Ideal Home, Grazia, and Homes & Antiques magazines.

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