Thursday, August 7, 2008

DX: Torticollis

In my post just a few days ago, I mentioned that Owen has developed a tendency to turn his head to one side and it is becoming very prominent. We've just begun to notice it more as he is beginning to get more head control. He always seems to favor the right side. Now that I look back at pictures of him since birth it was there all along but has just become to be more noticeable. I took him to see Dr. Blakeney about two weeks ago because something just didn't seem quite right. She also noticed these tendencies but didn't necessarily say what could be causing it. She said to start doing some small stretching exercises and to let them know if it doesn't get any better. So I started intentionally trying to do things to encourage Owen to look in the other direction such as putting his mobile on the other side of the bed, holding him so he is encouraged to look in the other direction, and doing some slight stretches. He just didn't seem to be getting any better and my motherly instinct kept growing stronger that something was not quite right. I felt like something more needed to be done. I didn't understand why this was happening. Was I doing something to cause this? On Monday I was talking to a dear friend (whose husband is a pediatrician) about my ongoing concerns about Owen's motor development. She kept the kids for me Wednesday while I had to work at the consignment sale. I asked her if she noticed anything about Owen and she said that she definitely did. Her husband was so kind to look at him for me also and immediately stated it looked like torticollis. I went home and googled it and sure enough - most of what I read about the condition was the same symptoms that Owen was exhibiting. He said it really wouldn't get any better without some physical therapy and recommended a top notch physical therapist (Brenda at Baptist East) that we ought to see about getting a referral to see. I called Dr. Wood's office to let them know that Owen was not any better. The phone nurse called me today at 3pm and said that due to a cancellation we had an appointment with Brenda at 4:15pm TODAY! Yippee and YIKES! We had to step it up into high gear in order to make it. We met with Brenda who also confirmed that she was seeing torticollis. He has a slight head tilt to the left and turns his head to the right. She showed me some stretching exercises to do with him and suggested more tummy time and activities that would get him in a more upright position (jumper, bumbo seat, etc) to help strenthen and stretch out his neck muscles. She said that he was at a very good age to start these exercises now before he gets older and starts to resist wanting to do them. She said this may be something that can be corrected in a few short weeks or it may take several months. She said it was likely that this condition may have been caused by his fetal position in the womb being that he was a large baby and didn't have much room. She also noticed very tight muscles in his legs and hamstrings. She gave me stretching exercises for this also. We go back in two weeks for a followup visit. What a day this has been!

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