Adaptive physical education tools to eliminate muscular overstrain in infants with acquired torticollis

Adaptive physical education tools to eliminate muscular overstrain in infants with acquired torticollis


Dr.Hab., Professor A.P. Shklyarenko1
Dr.Hab., Professor T.G. Kovalenko2
PhD, Associate Professor D.A. Ulyanov2
1Slavyansk-on-Kuban branch of Kuban State University, Slavyansk-on-Kuban
2Volgograd State University, Volgograd

Objective of the study was to identify the role of reflexive-functional trainings in eliminating muscular overstrain in infants with acquired torticollis.
Methods and structure of the study. Sampled for the study were the infants diagnosed with acquired torticollis. The following methods were applied: physical development tests, analysis of movements, reflexes, and postural reactions, ultrasonography, and photography.
Results and conclusions. Prior to the rehabilitation practices, we assessed the infants’ resting head position, the volume of passive movements, muscle density, the ability to perform active movements. The doctor’s recommendations and ultrasonic data were taken into account. The physical training strategy included passive stretching of the tight and shortened sternocleidomastoid muscle, strengthening of the contralateral sternocleidomastoid muscle, active motor exercises, as well as manipulations with various positions: lying, sitting, standing on all fours and standing, and positioning to optimize processes that shape the baby’s posture. Various assistive and active exercises were used to strengthen the weak neck muscles of the infants: placing toys on the side of torticollis, communicating with the infants on the problem side to encourage them to actively turn their heads. It was assumed that concentric, eccentric and isometric exercises would be effective if the infant’s age was taken into account in developing his/ her adaptive and compensatory skills. To stimulate active head rotations, we sought the most appropriate, physiologically based ways to mobilize their own adaptive, protective and compensatory abilities.
During the rehabilitation practices for infants, various supports were used to create conditions in which they could actively exploit new possibilities of postural control against the background of corrective manipulations and physical loads. This allowed them to explore their toys in a safe environment and remain happy and calm.
The material presented suggests that the use of concentric, eccentric and isometric exercises during reflexive-functional trainings for infants with acquired torticollis contribute to the formation of new movements and compensate for impaired functions due to adaptive morphofunctional changes that occur when they develop adaptive and compensatory skills of maintaining neutral head position.

Keywords: muscular torticollis, hypertonic muscles of the neck, sternocleidomastoid muscle, neutral head position, active motor exercises and postures, infancy.


  1. Doletskiy S.Y., Fishchenko P.Y., Simson I.L. Nekotorye voprosy diagnostiki i lecheniya vrozhdennoy myshechnoy krivoshei [Some questions of diagnosis and treatment of congenital muscle torticollis]. Vestnik. Khirurgiya. 1968. No. 6. pp. 86–89.
  2. Zatsepin S.T. Vrozhdennaya myshechnaya krivosheya [Congenital muscle torticollis]. Moscow: Meditsina publ.. 1969. 112p.