Congenital Muscular Torticollis (CMT) occurs with excessive contraction or shortening of the sternocleidomastoid muscle. It is hypothesized that it occurs either as a result from traumatic birth or neck positioning in the uterus. With an adaptively shortened or contracted SCM, the head appears laterally flexed to the affected side and contralaterally rotated. Obviously, there is a muscular imbalance occurring due to hyperactivity from the affected side and hypoactivity from the opposite side.
This study looked at 28 consecutive patients retrospectively that were treated with kineseology taping. They used a couple methods: a) tape was placed along the unaffected side's SCM and upper trap with no stretch for muscle facilitation b) tape was applied along the SCM on the affected side with a stretch for muscle relaxation c) a combination of the two. The study found the muscle relaxation technique to be the most successful, even though the other 2 methods were successful as well. While taping may be of benefit when treating infants with CMT, it should not be used alone. Consider using the taping technique as an adjunct to the rest of your interventions to potentially facilitate a more efficient therapy session.
It should be noted that the results of this study should be considered carefully. This was a retrospective, non-randomized study that lacked blinding of the physical therapist. Further research is needed to explore the potential benefits of kineseology taping for CMT more expansively. Check out the article for yourself!
Anatomy Review of Sternocleidomastoid ("Kendall"):
Origin: Sternal head: cranial part of manubrium
Clavicular head: medial 1/3 of clavicle
Insertion: lateral surface of mastoid process; lateral 1/2 of superior nuchal line of occipital bone
Action: Ipsilateral lateral flexion, contralateral rotation, extension of upper cervical spine, flexion of lower cervical spine
Innervation: accessory nerve (CN XI), C1-2
Kendall F, McCreary E, Provance P, Rodgers M, Romani W. "Muscles: Testing and Function with Posture and Pain." 5th ed. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2005. 148-149. Print.
Ohman A. "The Immediate Effect of Kinesiology Taping on Muscular Imbalance for Infants with Congenital Muscular Torticollis." PM&R: The journal of injury, function and rehabilitation. 4.7 2012. Print. 504-508.
James Heafner PT, DPT, OCS:
Owner and lead physical therapist at Heafner Health, cash-based physical therapy in Boulder, CO. Areas of expertise include orthopedic and manual therapy, functional movement, pain science, and movement science.
In May 2013, I earned my Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Saint Louis University. After graduating from the Harris Health Systems Orthopedic Residency in October 2014, I moved to Boulder, CO. Since living in Boulder, I have started my own cash-based PT practice, earned my OCS certification, and teach for the OPTIM Fellowship and COMT program in Houston TX and Scottsdale, AZ.
Chris Fox PT, DPT, OCS: Physical therapist at Foothills Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy in Scottsdale, AZ and regularly lectures at the Phoenix Campus for NAU's DPT program and for Optim Manual Therapy's COMT program. Completed multiple advanced manual therapy courses implementing aspects of biomechanical analysis. He received his DPT from Saint Louis University in 2013. Completed Scottsdale Healthcare's Orthopaedic Residency (now Honor Health) in July 2014. He became a Board Certified Orthopaedic Specialist in 2015. Level I Expert in FMS and SFMA , Kinetacore FDN Level 1 certification, and IASTM Technique course completion. He would like to pursue further education in McKenzie Technique, Dry Needling, Strength & Conditioning, Orthopaedic and Manual Therapy.
Brian Schwabe PT, DPT, SCS, CSCS:
- Board Certified Sports Physical Therapist (SCS) at Elite OrthoSport in Santa Monica, CA which specializes in treating collegiate/professional athletes and clientele from the Beverly Hills, Hollywood, and Santa Monica areas.
- USC Sports Residency Trained Physical Therapist (<1% of all PT's residency trained)
- DPT from Saint Louis University
- Future plans/interest include:
1. USAW, SFMA & Catapult Systems technology for NBA teams
2. Pursuing a position as a sports physical therapist &/or Strength coach for a Division 1 athletic medicine department or professional sport team.
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