Manual therapy in infantile torticollis: a randomized, controlled pilot study

Acta Paediatr. 2011 May;100(5):687-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2011.02145.x. Epub 2011 Feb 14.


Aim: Torticollis in infancy is routinely treated by child physiotherapists. The addition of manual therapy to the treatment is a new approach in Norway. As the effect of manual therapy for this condition is poorly documented, we designed a pilot study to evaluate measurement methods and examine the short-time effect of manual therapy in addition to child physiotherapy.

Methods: Randomized controlled trial, double blinded. Thirty-two patients aged 3-6 months were randomized to intervention group (manual therapy and child physiotherapy) and control group (child physiotherapy alone).

Primary outcome: Change of symptoms because of torticollis evaluated by video recordings.

Secondary outcomes: 12 parameters including spontaneous movements, active and passive range of motion and head righting reaction.

Results: We found a nonsignificant tendency to greater improvement in lateral flexion (p = 0.092) and head righting reaction (p = 0.116) in the intervention group.

Conclusion: In this pilot study, we found that in patients with moderate symptoms related to torticollis, the short-time effect of manual therapy in addition to physiotherapy is not significantly better than physiotherapy alone.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Head Movements
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Musculoskeletal Manipulations / methods*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Pilot Projects
  • Time Factors
  • Torticollis / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Videotape Recording