2021 ArticlesGillespie Approach–Craniosacral Fascial Therapy Articles

Adult Torticollis

I have often wondered when working on babies with torticollis, what does an untreated baby look like as an adult? I recently saw the answer.

A forty-year-old man presented with cranial instability and tightness at the base of his skull. He said he felt like he had a twist in his neck. He had limited range of neck motion, swallowing issues, and a TMJ imbalance. A general weakness radiated down the left side of his body.

He was born with a lopsided head (plagiocephaly). From my experience plagiocephaly and torticollis are almost always constant infant companions. Back in the day torticollis was rarely diagnosed, and even today, many pediatricians still miss it.

He had the typical boyhood accidents, sports injuries, and concussions. He had orthodontics twice, a tip-off for extensive undiagnosed craniocervical fascial strain.

He had a fascial twist from his neck down into his trunk, similar to an infant torticollis strain. Most of these cases start as a pelvic twist and corkscrew up the trunk to present as a neck-favoring side and head tilt. That strain can continue into the head to distort the soft fetal bones and cause plagiocephaly.

After the visit, he related he did not have the usual rebounding after doing a stretch. The Gillespie Approach aims to get at the root of the problem in correction to help take the twisting fascial strain out of the body.

When people have birth trauma resulting in torticollis, it is the only way of life that they know. They are born with it (congenital but not genetic), no healthcare provider notices or treats it then, their bodies compensate and adapt to it (homeostasis), and they live a compromised life around it. They never know what “normal” feels like.

I would have loved to have had my hands on him when he was five minutes old. I believe his torticollis strains would have worked out so much easier then. His plagiocephaly probably would have corrected too. I feel his first forty years of life would have been so different.

Dr. Barry Gillespie

Dr. Barry Gillespie founded Gillespie Approach–Craniosacral Fascial Therapy, which provides patients with a freely moving brain, spinal cord and fascial web, all critical to optimal health. Dr. Barry Gillespie also created the Baby Brain Score and discovered effective therapeutic techniques for newborns and infants. Read more about Dr. Barry Gillespie.

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