Physical therapy management of congenital muscular torticollis: An evidence-based clinical practice guideline: From the section on pediatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association

Sandra Kaplan, Colleen Coulter, Linda Fetters

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

66 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Congenital muscular torticollis (CMT) is an idiopathic postural deformity evident shortly after birth, typically characterized by lateral flexion of the head to one side and cervical rotation to the opposite side due to unilateral shortening of the sternocleidomastoid muscle. CMT may be accompanied by other neurological or musculoskeletal conditions. KEY POINTS: Infants with CMT are frequently referred to physical therapists (PTs) to treat their asymmetries. This evidence-based clinical practice guideline (CPG) provides guidance on which infants should be monitored, treated, and/or referred, and when and what PTs should treat. Based upon critical appraisal of literature and expert opinion, 16 action statements for screening, examination, intervention, and follow-up are linked with explicit levels of evidence. The CPG addresses referral, screening, examination and evaluation, prognosis, first-choice and supplemental interventions, consultation, discharge, follow-up, suggestions for implementation and compliance audits, flow sheets for referral paths and classification of CMT severity, and research recommendations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-394
Number of pages47
JournalPediatric Physical Therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 21 2013


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


  • Congenital muscular torticollis
  • Evidencebased practice
  • Infant
  • Physical therapy
  • Practice guideline

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