Commentary on “Analysis of Spontaneous Movements in Infants With Torticollis” : Pediatric Physical Therapy

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Commentary on “Analysis of Spontaneous Movements in Infants With Torticollis”

O'Connell, Melanie D. PT, PhD, PCS

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Pediatric Physical Therapy 34(1):p 22, January 2022. | DOI: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000855
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“How should I apply this information?”

The 2018 Clinical Practice Guideline on Congenital Muscular Torticollis1 from the APTA Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy, Action Statement 10, provides physical therapists with the recommendation to, “Examine activity and developmental status.” This study by Kahraman et al informs physical therapists of further evidence for the importance of this recommendation. This thoughtful new research gives clinicians knowledge and awareness of functional limitations of infants with congenital muscular torticollis (CMT). Physical therapists should be reflective about the need for parents to be educated and aware of other issues beyond the tight neck and decreased rotation.

“What should I be mindful about when applying this information?”

For parents of infants with CMT, they may initially seek help for a head tilt, asymmetric posture, or not looking to the side. This study highlights the importance of the physical therapists' (PTs) responsibility to provide parents with knowledge about deficits not simply related to the torticollis alone, but also deficits in other areas, including the child's motor development. This study should empower PTs to ensure that the infant in their care with CMT has received a thorough developmental assessment, through the use a valid and reliable tool, has developed a plan to help address delays in motor skills, and educates and support the parents of infants with CMT about their childrens' motor delays.

Melanie D. O'Connell, PT, PhD, PCS
Department of Physical Therapy, Long Island University
Brooklyn, New York


1. Kaplan SL, Coulter C, Sargent B. Physical therapy management of congenital muscular torticollis: a 2018 evidence-based clinical practice guideline from the APTA Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy. Pediatr Phys Ther. 2018;30(4):240–290.
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