Rehab: Left Torticollis Home Exercise Program

What is left-sided torticollis?

The child will bend/tilt the head to the left and have difficulty turning his/her head to the left side.

What if it is not corrected? Untreated torticollis can lead to changes in head shape, uneven facial appearance, cause difficulties with feeding, and affect the way the child plays, sits, looks at objects/people and explores surroundings.

Exercises to Correct Left Torticollis

Torticollis Stretching: Lateral Tilt

  • Place the child flat on the floor.
  • Hold child’s left shoulder down with your right hand.
  • Place your left hand on top of the left side of child’s head.
  • Slowly bend the right ear towards child’s right shoulder.
  • Hold position for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat 3-4 times.
  • Perform 4-5 times a day.

Torticollis stretching: Neck Rotation

  • Place child flat on the floor.
  • Place your right hand on your child’s right shoulder.
  • Cup your child’s head with the left hand.
  • Slowly turn child’s nose to the left side.
  • Hold position for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat 3-4 times.
  • Perform 4-5 times a day.

Positioning for Play for Babies with Torticollis

  • Place the child on his/her side while playing and encourage him/her to bring the hands to midline to play with toys.
  • Place the child on his/her stomach. Place toys to the left side to help the child turn his/her face to the left while playing.

Carrying your child (the football hold)

  • Hold the child facing away from you.
  • Place your right arm between your child’s legs and support your child’s body and grasp the left shoulder with your right hand.
  • Position your left forearm/hand between child’s ear and shoulder to help stretch the tight muscles.

 Suggestions:

  • Position the child in a crib to encourage the child to look to the left.
  • While bottle/breast feeding position child to look to the left.
  • Use towel rolls to help keep your child’s head in a neutral position (in car seat, high chair, on the mat).

 If you have any questions or concerns please be sure to ask your treating physical or occupational therapist.


This page was last updated on: November 10, 2020 01:43 PM

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The Rehabilitation Services at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital serve the therapeutic needs of infants, children and adolescents.

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Torticollis

Torticollis, or wry neck, is a twisted neck in which the head is tipped to one side, while the chin is turned to the other. Learn more