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How chiropractic care helps plagiocephaly

What is Plagiocephaly?

Plagiocephaly or flat head syndrome, is a condition characterized by an asymmetrical distortion (flattening of one side) of the skull.

(Reference from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plagiocephaly )

Deformational plagiocephaly, also known as positional plagiocephaly, means a misshapen, flat or asymmetrical (uneven) head shape. When the head has a flat spot at the back of the skull, this is called brachycephaly.

(Reference from https://www.rch.org.au/kidsinfo/fact_sheets/Plagiocephaly_misshapen_head/ )

Although positional plagiocephaly does not affect the development of the child’s brain, it may affect the child’s appearance, possibly causing uneven development of the child’s head and face.

Before 12 months old, the cranial bone of a child is relatively soft. This makes the child’s head softer and easier to deform. Constant pressure on a part of the skull can cause it to flatten.

If the child is lying down all the time, or if the child likes to look in one direction, parts of the child’s skull may become flattened. Plagiocephaly also happens during the birth process.

The impact of plagiocephaly on babies

Changes in plagiocephaly are likely to cause tension in the neck muscles, affecting the baby’s head control and range of motion, resulting in delayed motor development.

Head and face asymmetry may involve extraocular muscles and nerves, damage the visual and vestibular system, resulting in sensorimotor disorders and ear infections.

At the same time, with the increase of children’s age, if the plagiocephaly is not treated in time, it may affect mental health, and patients are likely to show low self-esteem.

Managing Baby’s Head Shape with Chiropractic

Under some circumstances, skull shape can be maintained if the baby sleeps in different positions the whole night. Besides, changing sides or shifting positions regularly can help the baby correct the head shape, when parents feed their babies, or keep tummy time daily. It is recommended that you can help babies with counter positioning, when you try to manage the baby’s head shape.

However, in most cases, it is hard to correct plagiocephaly only by changing head position. Some case studies support that chiropractic care can be helpful when people face plagiocephaly.

One case reports the positive result of chiropractic treatment in plagiocephaly. A group of babies having deformational plagiocephaly is divided into two groups. One group uses normal treatment of shifting position and tummy time, while others apply chiropractic care when treating the plagiocephaly. The results show that the former group only had a 7% decrease in plagiocephaly by 6 months of age, while the later group showed 23% decrease during same age periods.

(Reference from https://betterhealthpractice.com.au/chiropractic-flat-head-syndrome/ )

Schedule a Consultation with a Pediatric Chiropractor

It is essential to get the earliest treatment from a pediatric chiropractor when you find your baby has plagiocephaly. Chiropractor can help babies with gentle pressure and safe techniques to release the tension of muscle and adjust their spine, leading to a better posture and head position.

You can look for professional pediatric chiropractors in the journal of clinical chiropractic pediatrics, or take advice from your GP.

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