Most adults experience a neck strain caused by poor posture.
Leaning over the PC, sitting for long periods of time, and lacking physical activity, are just a few reasons behind the neck pain.
But did you know that babies can also suffer from neck muscle strain?
While acquired torticollis affects the youngest population for different reasons than adults and much less frequently, it is still a significant problem.
So, read on to find out why babies get strained necks and how to go about it.
Can Babies Strain Their Neck?
Although back and neck pain are uncommon infant disorders, babies can strain their necks. In most cases, acquired torticollis is not a serious condition. It can occur from sleeping in an awkward position for a prolonged period of time. It can also be caused by swollen lymph glands that result from fighting minor infections such as strep throat. But in more severe instances, neck pain can indicate meningitis, tumour, or juvenile arthritis. In this case, it is crucial to act quickly and get your baby medical care and treatment.
Why Do Babies Strain Their Neck?
Babies can develop acquired torticollis for the same reasons we all do.
For instance, they may have slept in an awkward position in new or different sleeping arrangements.
The pain in the neck they experience results from the overstretch of the muscles and ligaments of the neck.
For older babies, neck strain can result from general knocks and bumps
experienced during crawling or walking ventures.
Another reason for a strained neck can be an infection of lymph nodes, causing swelling of the glands and leading to spasms in the neck muscles. The infection can be viral or bacterial such as cold, flu, or strep throat.
Related post ===> Can Babies Get Strep Throat?
A much rarer cause of neck pain is meningitis. It is a very serious bacterial infection leading to severe brain damage.
This condition is life-threatening if not treated quickly.
The sore neck is only one of the symptoms of meningitis, which is accompanied by more obvious ones. They include high fever, rash, extreme irritability, not moving much, not feeding, and vomiting.
How Do I Know That My Baby Has A Neck Pain?
The problem is – neck pain in babies is rather tricky to guesstimate.
That’s because the symptoms of a strained neck may be problematic to recognize. And babies – being babies- cannot communicate this problem effectively, if at all!
Therefore, the diagnosis should be undertaken by a professional such as a paediatrician or chiropractor specializing in infants.
Nevertheless, it’s worth knowing what are the main symptoms of a strained neck to look out for:
- The baby’s head is often tilted to one side.
- The baby holds the head stiffly.
- The baby may have difficulty bending the head backwards or forwards, such as touching the chin to the chest. Or maybe reluctant to turn the head from side to side.
- Often the neck muscle is tender and sore to touch.
ADC – How to tell if your BABY has a NECK PROBLEM!
How To Treat My Baby’s Strained Neck?
The treatment of strained necks in babies will depend on the underlying cause of the pain.
Torticollis due to awkward sleeping position isn’t generally concerning, and most babies will get better within a few days without any treatment.
However, if the discomfort doesn’t go away, you should seek medical assistance for advice.
There are few specialists and l treatments out there that can help. To name a few – chiropractic care, physical therapy, massages, and home exercises.
I know it may seem like a big deal, but don’t worry – if undertaken by specialists – all these treatments are perfectly safe for babies.
So, for example, chiropractors apply gentle pressure on soft tissue to release the pain in your baby’s neck and assist the natural ability of the body to release the tension.
Often your active involvement in your baby’s recovery may also be required.
You will have to perform a few exercises with your baby at home. These may include gentle stretches of the neck muscle and adjusting the feeding or carrying position to support neck treatment.
Your baby’s therapist will show you how to perform these exercises and guide you throughout!
Also, don’t forget to practice tummy time which will help a lot with muscle tone.
4 MONTH OLD WITH TORTICOLLIS (Treated By Massage Therapist)
For infection of lymph nodes, the treatment will focus on relieving the symptoms of the infection with over-the-counter pain medication, or in more severe cases, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics.
In the case of meningitis, the symptoms can develop quickly, and the baby’s condition can deteriorate rapidly. Therefore, it should be treated immediately in the hospital.
Related post ====> Why Does My Baby’s Head Tilt To One Side?
Final Few Lines
Babies can indeed experience strain in their neck due to several reasons:
- Awkward sleeping position for a prolonged time that stretches neck muscle. The pain should go away within a few days without any treatment.
- General bumps and knocks during crawling and walking. Also, no treatment is required.
- Neck pain due to swollen lymph glands. This can occur as a result of viral or bacterial infection. Pain relief medication may be prescribed or antibiotic in more severe cases.
- Neck pain can also result from serious health issues such as meningitis, tumour, or childhood arthritis. If that’s the case, urgent medical care is necessary to prevent potentially life-threatening consequences.