Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Physical Therapy

Today we went to physical therapy for Ryan's torticollis. He did such a good job while we were there - especially considering he didn't take a morning nap!

Since Ryan was born he has always favored looking left. If you have ever been around him (or you can tell just by looking at pics) he always has his head tilted one way - well the medical condition is called Torticollis.  It means "twisted neck" and if a child has this condition, his head will be titled to one side while the chin is turned to the other side. It looks painful, but it isn't for them.  I have read that about about 1 in 250 infants are born with this so it is fairly common.

As I mentioned before this was apparent from birth and it's due from the way he was positioned in the womb - little man was stuck! We always try to move his head when it goes to the side however, it wasn't until his four month check up that our pediatrician recommended seeing a physical therapist for it. It's not a severe case so hopefully a little stretching with fix him right up. Another side effect of torticollis is that a baby may develop positional plagiocephaly (asymmetrical head shape) because they'll often sleep with their head turned to one side - and this has started to happen with Ryan.

So today we saw a therapist and she showed us a bunch of stretches to do with Ryan. She pointed out some things (you wouldn't notice by looking at him) that are effects of this condition. While the list below seems extensive it's because everything is connected and causing the other. You really don't notice unless you are really studying him - I mean I hang with him everyday and I didn't notice most of this stuff until it was pointed out.
  • He has red marks on his neck from his skin being creased on the right side
  • The left side of his back has extra rolls in his skin because he curls over that way
  • He always reaches with his left hand/arm - We thought this was because he was going to be left handed like his dad, but it is because the left shoulder blade is more developed and has more range. 
  • Something with his ears - one is further back than the other? Can't remember what she said.
  • He has started to smile a little crooked
  • His right shoulder is higher
  • One side of his face is fuller, the other flatter
  • One side of his head is flatter
So yeah - sounds pretty crazy. Mommy has lots of work to do!! Lot's of stretching!! We are going back on Monday and will probably go every week for a little while. Hopefully with all the stretching everything will slip back into place. There is still a chance that he might have to wear a helmet but hopefully this stretching will prevent it. Wish us luck!

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