Plagiocephaly (Flat Head)
Plagiocephaly (Flat Head Syndrome) is sometimes called deformational plagiocephaly or positional plagiocephaly and is a very common, very treatable disorder among newborns. Flat head syndrome causes a baby’s head to have a flattened appearance. Plagiocephaly develops when an infant’s soft skull becomes flattened in one area, due to repeated pressure on one part of the head resulting from position in utero, birth trauma, or subluxations in the neck causing an infant to keep their head rotated to one side.
Flat head syndrome (plagiocephaly) usually happens when a baby sleeps with the head turned to the same side during first months of life. This causes a flat spot, either on one side or the back of the head. Tight neck muscles that make it hard for babies to turn their heads cause flat head syndrome. This neck condition is called torticollis. Because it’s hard to turn their head, babies tend to keep their heads in the same position when lying down. This can cause flattening. Then, once the head has a flat spot, the torticollis can get worse making it difficult for infants to roll over or even latch.
What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Flat Head Syndrome?
Flat head syndrome usually is easy for parents to notice:
- The back of the baby’s head is flatter on one side.
- The baby usually has less hair on that part of the head.
- When looking down at the baby’s head, the ear on the flattened side may look pushed forward.
Make Time for Tummy Time
Newborn babies are not usually big fans of tummy time in the beginning. However, it is very beneficial for them to have tummy time, even if it’s just for a few minutes every couple of hours. Tummy time allows them to strengthen their neck muscles and practice their motor skills. Much like positioning their head, tummy time can get them used to a new position so that they aren’t always laying in the same spot, leaving them at risk of developing a flat spot or perpetuating an existing flat spot.
Consult a Pediatric Chiropractor
Pediatric Chiropractors can gently adjust a baby’s spine to release spinal pressure from the womb and delivery. Releasing this pressure in the spine can decrease subluxations causing torticollis and reduce plagiocephaly therefore creating a more round appearance of an infants head. Dr. Jennifer Rousseau specializes in pediatric cranial therapy and has helped many patients over the years with reducing flat head syndrome so babies can develop naturally and re-gain their normal head shape. In one case study an 8-month-old with plagiocephaly had significant milestone delays and pains from pressure in the head due to the plagiocephaly. After seeking chiropractic care, the baby met all developmental milestones and had improved head shape. If your infant is struggling with plagiocephaly, call Dr. Jennifer Rousseau at Kyd Kyro today to talk with her about how pediatric chiropractic and cranial therapy can help.