Flat head in a baby is when the head is misshapen , otherwise known as deformational plagiocephaly.
What Causes Flat Head In A Baby ?
Flat head in a baby may be caused by the position of the babies’ head in utero ( head pushing against the side of the pelvis) and these babies are born with a flat or misshapen head.
Flat head in a baby is usually caused by your baby continuing to favour one side with their head. This occurs because your baby will have a misalignment in their neck as a result of the birth process. It is painful for your baby to look the opposite way to the flat head, so your baby will continue to favour the side that does not cause them pain.
Will Flat Head In A Baby Correct Itself?
Flat head in a baby will naturally improve, providing your baby is not continuing to favour one side. The objective is to correct the underlying cause of your baby favouring one side and allow the head to correct naturally.
Is Flat Head In A Baby Only A Cosmetic Problem?
Many parents are told that flat head in a baby is only a cosmetic problem and will resolve with time. Unfortunately research suggests that this is not the case and that developmental delays are associated with babies having a flat head(1-2).
Chiropractic Treatment Of Flat Head In A Baby.
Flat head in a baby is a condition that chiropractors with chiropractic paediatric training manage on a weekly basis.
Chiropractors are able to assess your babies flat head and decided whether chiropractic treatment is suitable. In moderate to severe cases your baby may also need helmet therapy.
Stretches may help in some cases, however unless the underlying neck misalignment is corrected your baby will often continue to favour the same side. The stretches may cause your baby more pain and reinforce the notion that looking to the opposite side causes pain.
Chiropractic restores proper movement of the bones in the neck (called vertebra) and release any tight neck muscles, allowing your baby to move their head to both sides more comfortably.
Chiropractic corrections are often done with light finger pressure (as much as you can tolerate on your eye ball). Once the vertebra has been corrected, your baby will often start looking to the non- favorable side. Once your baby can look to the non preferred side without discomfort, stretches may be then introduced and will be more beneficial.
Our experienced team of Chiropractors at Children’s Sunshine Chiropractic see infants with this condition on a weekly basis, we feel very confident in managing flat head syndrome. You can feel sure that your baby is in the right place for the management of their flat head.
Several studies conclude that chiropractic treatment for flat head syndrome has shown to be beneficial at changing the head shape in some babies (3-4).
(1) Case-control study of neurodevelopment in deformational plagiocephaly. Speltz ML, Collett BR, Stott-Miller M, Starr JR, Heike C, Wolfram-Aduan AM, King D, Cunningham ML. Pediatrics. 2010 Mar;125(3):e537-42. Epub 2010 Feb 15.
(2) Pediatrics. 2000 Feb;105(2):E26. Long-term developmental outcomes in patients with deformational plagiocephaly. Miller RI, Clarren SK.
(3) Vitiello, A and Pollard, H.Chiropractic Management of Deformational Plagiocephaly in Infants: An Alternative to Device-Dependent Therapy CJA Vol. 32 Issue 2, p52.
(4) Quezada, D. Chiropractic care of an infant with plagiocephaly. Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics 2004; 6(1): 342-8