Head Tilt in Children
Modern birthing procedures, even those with seemingly minimal intervention, are known to cause trauma and stress to the infant’s cranium and spine.
In a leading pediatric textbook on manual therapy for children, one author tells us
“When considering injuries and dysfunctions of the spine and its associated structures, the significance of birth trauma is often underestimated, and the resulting symptoms frequently misinterpreted.”
One birth trauma that is often underestimated and the resulting symptoms frequently misinterpreted is an infant’s head tilt.
Do you notice if your child is tilting their head and/or has their head stuck in one direction?
Did you know that postural head tilt or rotation is an indication that your kiddo has a misalignment in their upper spine?
The picture above is a toddler’s spine- the left is normal and neutral, and the right has a misalignment.
Notice how the brainstem (the light pink part) is slightly bent in the “abnormal” illustration.
This type of misalignment can cause stress to the brain stem, which as you might guess has A LOT of VITAL functions such as breathing, heartbeat, sleep, swallow, bladder control, balance, posture, hearing, vision, and motor control.
This is not only considered a biomechanical or structural problem as there is a huge neurological component as well. Any sort of upper neck misalignment will irritate the nerves in that area and may lead to spasm of the muscles of the neck causing abnormal posture, difficulty falling or staying asleep, general “clumsiness” or not knowing where their body is in space, clenched hands, and stiffness on one side or both sides of the body.
Now many of you are asking how does this happen and what can you do since you’re seeing the head tilt and/or their head stuck on one side?
It may happen from birth trauma or any other type of trauma such as falls, bumping into tables, learning how to walk so they keep falling on their bottoms, and more. It may also happen from memory- the memory of being in the womb of their mom stuck in a certain position for long periods of time.
We highly encourage all parents to incorporate a chiropractic exam as a necessary part of their newborn’s wellness evaluations at Modern Chiropractic Center in Boise and Nampa. Among other numerous benefits of chiropractic care for infants, the ability to move their head freely and in all directions has lifelong benefits for the baby’s future health potential.
Including chiropractic care for your newborn may very well be one of the most important choices you make in support of the family wellness lifestyle.
- Biedermann H, editor. Manual therapy in children. Churchill Livingstone; 2004. 85 p.