A developmental perspective on congenital muscular torticollis: a critical appraisal of the evidence

Pediatr Phys Ther. 2010 Winter;22(4):378-83. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e3181f940f3.


Purpose: The aims of this review were to (1) identify and evaluate research evidence regarding the developmental outcomes of infants with congenital muscular torticollis (CMT) and (2) critically appraise and compare the outcomes of interventions targeting neck muscle extensibility and strength with those considering neck muscle function within the broader context of global infant development.

Summary: An association between CMT and early developmental delay is supported by levels 3B, 4, and 5 evidence; no evidence was found of longer-term influences of CMT on the development of perceptual, cognitive, and motor skills. The effectiveness of passive manual stretching is supported by levels 2A, 3B, 4, and 5 evidence; no clear evidence was found of the effectiveness of developmentally supportive interventions.

Conclusion: Controlled studies are needed to clarify the developmental consequences of CMT.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Developmental Disabilities / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Motor Skills
  • Neck / abnormalities*
  • Neck Muscles / pathology*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Posture
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology*
  • Spinal Diseases / rehabilitation
  • Torticollis / congenital
  • Torticollis / rehabilitation

Supplementary concepts

  • Congenital torticollis