In this episode of Food, Freedom and Fertility we are having a special episode to focus on Plagiocephaly and Torticollis with Dr. Brittany McGeary. Brittany is a pediatric physical therapist who specializes in torticollis, plagiocephaly, and developmental delay. She owns Grow Physical Therapy, a mobile pediatric practice whose purpose is to spread awareness about torticollis and plagiocephaly and advocate for early referral and intervention. Early referral is essential in order to prevent a helmet as well as gross motor delays. Brittany provides treatment in patient’s homes and offers virtual consultations. Her passion is to empower parents through education and treatment to allow your little one to flourish.
This episode came to fruition because one of our hosts, Caitlin Johnson had noticed her 3rd baby moved his head with preferences and would not turn to the left. Caitlin shares the signs she experienced and how she advocated for her baby and learned about his diagnosis of plagiocephaly and torticollis.
Torticollis is a condition caused by tightened or shortened neck muscles. The typical presentation is a head tilt to one side and a rotation. Dr. Brittany helps listeners understand exactly what is torticollis and where it happens. She shares a few initial signs such as baby not looking in one direction or never wanting to to turn their head to one side. She also discusses explains what Plagiocephaly is and that typically Plagiocephaly and Torticollis present together 90% of the time.
Dr. Brittany walks listeners through potential risk factors that could heighten the risk of Plagiocephaly and Torticollis with container use (swings, doc a tots, and other such items), the fetal risk factor increases with a first born, multiples birth and longer babies due to the positioning of the baby in utero. Also, the use of forceps or suction devices can up the risk of developing the conditions.
It is very important to address it Plagiocephaly and Torticollis immediately. There are important windows that can change the treatment plan. Babies can start screening for these conditions as early as 2 days. If the conditions are not treated there are cosmetic features that could develop but also run over into gross motor milestones. Dr. Brittany dives deeper into what that could look like. Remember to keep and out for equal and symmetrical movement, particularly neck and head and also take notice if you baby seems fussier when they face a certain direction.
Treatment can assist with both conditions and Dr. Brittany’s helps listeners know the timeline that would best optimize the likely hood the baby could gain normal range of motion the treatment can range between physical therapy such as stretching and strengthen. Also, assistance in your home for environmental adaption: crib placement, position during sleeping purposeful play ideas.
If you are not in the Kansas City area are looking for an in-person Doctor such as Brittany you will want to search for a PT that is a pediatric physical therapist but do note that you can successfully work virtually as well. If you would like more information on Dr. Brittany McGeary, PT, DPT be sure to check her out via the links below. As always remember to advocate for you and your baby and trust your mom intuition.