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Flat spot, but refuses to turn head

(13 Posts)
gourd Thu 02-Dec-10 16:15:17

My 12 week old has a slightly flat spot on her head on the right side. Even when held upright or on her tummy she will turn her head to the right though. I have tried placing her on her back facing right away from me so she has to turn her head to the left to see me, or to see her toys, but she won't turn her head, she just cries 'cos she can't see me. I tried gently turning her head and forcing her to lie with it straight or to the left but she cries and thrashes about like this and also seems to struggle to turn her head back to the right where she prefers it. It seems she is a lot more comfortable with her head turned to the right. I want to prevent the flat spot getting any worse and give it chance to come out, but I've run out of ideas - please help! Thanks!

ItalianLady Thu 02-Dec-10 16:17:28

It sounds like she has torticullis and she needs to do some exercises to sort it out. If you are able to do this you cay prevent her needing further treatment in the future.

gourd Thu 02-Dec-10 16:23:22

Thanks for you reply - I asked the health visitor about this when we went to the clinic today for baby's vaccinations, but h.v. didn't seem concerned except to say that I should encourage her to move her head to the other side by placing toys on her left etc - but I already do this and it's not working. What exercises would help and what's torticullis?

ItalianLady Thu 02-Dec-10 16:30:08

Yes, generally HV don't have a clue. Mine did know what was wrong with my DD and said nothing could be done angry. Her son also had the problem. Months and months of being fobbed off we went privately and she had treatment and is fine now. If they had listened to me when she was a newborn it would have been fixed a lot easier and she wouldn't have had to have a skull x-ray angry.

Torticullus is a problem with the neck muscles being too tight. You need specific exercises so would need to see someone with experience. It would also be useful if the baby had her assymetry measured.

gourd Thu 02-Dec-10 16:36:50

Thanks i will follow this up and go to my gp asap, 'cos I am quite concerned. I did think there might be something not quite right with her neck - it's the way she always turns her head to the right even when held upright and even when you turn her body round she will still face the same way, even if she's then looking at a blank wall! When b/f-ing her on the right side I have to sort of help her to turn her head towards the left to feed, or i have to tilt her whole body onto her left side to bring her mouth to the breast.

Iamcountingto3 Thu 02-Dec-10 16:40:30

DD also had torticollis. You've caught it really fast, which is great - with a decent physio, you should be able to see some fast results - it isn't (ime) too tricky to treat once it's properly diagnosed (I got fobbed off by HV too - and like ItalianLady, ended up with a private consult, where they immeadiately got me an (NHS) physio appt. The exercises are basically little stretches - done very gently and regularly (eg every nappy change)

nannynobblystockingnobs Thu 02-Dec-10 16:43:56

It's very common to have torticollis with a flat head. It continually pulls the head to one side and can be fixed. I know of two people whose children had it, along with flat head syndrome (plagiocephaly). Both are completely fine healthy little boys now. Good luck

zapostrophe Thu 02-Dec-10 17:04:21

Message withdrawn

EgonSpengler Thu 02-Dec-10 17:08:43

Our baby has been doing the same thing OP! We've luckily been referred to the children's physio at our local hospital. We've found that rolling a small towel under her opposite shoulder works. It pitches her to the left and she's started looking to the left of her own volition.

skewiff Fri 03-Dec-10 11:09:49

Hello -

This is exactly what happened with my first child.

He could not turn his head to the left. I asked health visitors, GPs, midwives etc - took him physically to them and showed them and they said it would sort itself out and not to worry.

At about 10/12 weeks I took him to a cranio osteopath who said it was torticollis and in fact it was mended and sorted after 2 or 3 visits.

Not to worry you (please please don't!) but 6 months later my son was not using his left hand and it turned out the whole thing was connected to a mild form of cerebral palsy called hemiplegia - which is similar to a stroke in the womb.

I am not suggesting this will be your story AT ALL - it most probably is torticollis. But all I am saying is that you must not let anyone fob you off about any of your worries. Trust your instincts and follow everything up.

Good luck x

schmee Fri 03-Dec-10 11:17:11

The majority of HVs and GPs are very ill informed about torticollis and plagiocephaly - I am afraid you may have to fight to get a referral to a physio but it's important that you do. My little boy's went undiagnosed and I wasted a couple of months trying to get some sense out of the NHS before going private. Unfortunately this meant that he had 7 months in a helmet and is still severely (although less so) affected by plagiocephaly at age 4.

Sorry to be so negative, but as other posters have said - well done for spotting this and asking questions about it so early on.

DrAri Fri 03-Dec-10 20:14:28

It sounds like your baby does have plagiocephaly. THIS is likely the cause of torticollis, not the other way round. She may have an upper neck misaligment?(which adults also get). Defin. get baby treated ASAP as Ive treated many kids with this and parents have left it too long after being told its 'normal' from HV. It can affect baby learning to roll/turn, other muscles development, but more important can affect development and learning. In the mean- time change her sleeping position, so she looks towards the restricted side when you walk into room, but get her to a devel expert immediately to avoid further probs.

Rhubarbgarden Sat 04-Dec-10 07:34:15

You could also get a flat head pillow - Lilla Kuddis do them. It will stop the flat spot getting worse. Dd couldn't sleep facing the other way till we got one because her head just kept rolling back to the flat side. The pillow supports her head in any position and takes the pressure off. It's really helped.

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