Recently a four week old baby boy presented to our Greensborough Myotherapy Clinic with Fibromatosis colli. This is a rare cause of a benign neck mass. It is unilateral in most cases which means it usually appears only on one side of the body.
This condition affects the sternocleidomastoid muscle (SCM) and typically presents a few weeks after birth as a firm and hard mass on palpation but is not tender or inflamed. It is diagnosed via ultrasound and is most frequently related to birth trauma (e.g. forceps delivery) or malabsorption to the muscle in the womb.
Paediatric Chiropractor Paul Chamberlain and myself saw him twice a week initially and weekly after that. The Fibromatosis Colli was on his right SCM resulting in left sided torticollis (abnormal or asymmetrical head or neck position) and left sided plagiocephaly (flat head).
On examination we were unable to passively rotate his neck further than 45degrees to the right, he therefore preferred to avoid neck pain by facing his left side and not move his head at all to the right. This made breast feeding more of a challenge when lying on his right side as this position would put a the neck under a great deal of stretch. Bathing and getting dressed and undressed was distressing to him as his shoulders were tight for sustaining the same position for a majority of the time.
Conservative treatment included soft tissue manipulation of some of the right anterior neck muscles and the left posterior neck muscles, we also worked on his shoulder range of motion and his cervical and thoracic mobility.
After several targeted treatments, this eleven week old baby boy is now able to turn his head to the right without any discomfort, he is sleeping facing his right and is breast feeding more comfortably on the right as well.
Changing the weight distribution on his head will help resolve his plagiocephaly and put his parent’s minds at ease.
Nicole Davies – Elite Myotherapist