Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Physical Therapy For My Baby

We had our appointment at Omaha Physical Therapy Institute with little man on Monday. Right after we met Katie, the PT, she immediately started asking us a ton of questions about Cruz and what we've noticed with his behavior. She determined that he does in fact have Torticollis, but similar to our pediatrician said that we've caught it early enough that we should be able to fix it with some neck stretching exercises. They think this happened when he was in the womb - when we were in the hospital after he was born the doctors told us that they thought he must've been lodged up against my pelvic bone because his left side jaw was a bit distorted, however, there were no worries because they said once his face filled out it would fix itself. Now with the diagnosis of Torticollis they believe that when he was pushed against my pelvis his head was constantly turned toward the right which caused his preference of that side.

Over an hour and half appointment, she checked out little man's limbs and motor skills. Then she showed us exercises to do with him daily and had us practice them to make sure we were doing them correctly:
  • Tummy time with his head pointing the left {he is strong enough to lift it up and move it back to the right side, so we have to carefully monitor him during this one}.
  • When feeding him, we now need to reposition him so he's cradled in our right arm and feeding him with our left hand...using the bottle to lead his head toward the left.
  • Football hold with arm between his legs and cradling his body and neck.
  • When laying on the floor, turn him on his left side and prop a rolled up blanket behind him to hold him in that position and another in front to make sure he doesn't roll forward.
  • Shoulder hold laying his right side against our body - a plus is if he falls asleep like that and can hold that pose for some this:
Cruzer laying on mama - stretching out his neck muscle
During this visit she also measured his head circumference and did some other checks - this was where she discovered that his ears and not in line due to his favoring one side of his head for so long. There is a potential he will need a head positioner to help mold his head back to the correct shape, again she reassured us it shouldn't come to that but felt that she needed to tell us everything that could come up.

We've got a follow up appointment with her on Monday and she anticipates she will need to see us every other week after that for approximately six months depending on his progression. At these check ups she will determine if we need to continue with the same stretches or whether or not she will add different exercises for us to focus on. I've been a bit of a mess dealing with all this {fortunately Nick, Tessa and mom have been understanding when I've broken down on them} - but I really am optimistic, it's just scary to think that something could be wrong with your baby.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Katie, I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. I can't imagie what you must be feeling, but I think the important thing to remember is Cruz is healthy and generally ok. A few PT stretches and he'll be good as new. Plus, he won't remember any of this so all the extra worrying you're doing won't ever affect him.

    It's so scary how many "things" there are out there that can affect our babies. There's a million things like Torticollis we never knew even existed and so many other things outside our control in the world. The hardest part of parenting, I think.

    Hang in there and rely on your family and Nick for support. Cruz is so lucky to have parents like you two to love him so much!


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