At Home Base Physical Therapy in Greater Morristown, NJ our physical therapists specialize in treating pediatrics. More specifically, they specialize in treating conditions related to infants and toddlers.
Plagiocephaly is one of these conditions. Early recognition and treatment is paramount in expedited positive outcomes. If you are worried about the potential of your child having plagiocephaly, call or click here to schedule an appointment today.
What is Plagiocephaly?
Plagiocephaly, also known as “flat head syndrome” is when a baby develops a ‘flat spot’ on one side of the head or the entire back of the head. This happens when a baby sleeps in the same position most of the time or because of musculature in the neck that results in a head-turning preference.
What causes Plagiocephaly?
A baby’s skull can flatten as a result of the baby’s head staying in one position for prolonged periods of time. Sometimes a baby can be born with this flattening because of lack of space in the uterus, this risk is often increased if there are multiples. Other things that may lead to plagiocephaly are Muscular Torticollis, Prematurity and Back Sleeping.
Muscular Torticollis is a problem that is present at birth, in which one or more muscles of the neck are very tight. This tightness keeps the baby’s head in the same position, usually with a side preference. Early recognition and treatment is correlated with expedited results as seen on Pediatric Physical Therapy’s journal.
Many premature babies spend extended time in the hospital and on respirators with their heads in the same positions. Since the skull bones of premature babies are softer and they spend extended periods of time in one position, this can cause flat spots.
Babies who sleep on their backs, in car seats, or swings; without positional changes can develop flat heads. However, the safest position for babies to sleep is on their back, this is to reduce the risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Who is at risk for plagiocephaly?
Babies may be more likely to have this condition if they are:
- A first-born child
- Born with the help of instruments: include forceps or vacuum extraction.
How to treat plagiocephaly?
Treatment of plagiocephaly consists of multiple different modalities. Early identification and intervention is paramount in expedited outcomes as is indicated in several scholastic articles published by Oxford Academic and SAGE Journals.
Specific Treatment will depend on your baby’s symptoms, age, and general health.
Treatment may include:
- Changing your baby’s sleep position by turning their head to the opposite side (repositioning therapy)
- Maximizing tummy time when your baby is awake and minimizing time in infant devices (swings, car seats, etc)
- Receiving Physical Therapy to promote symmetric development of truck and neck muscles.
At Home Base Physical Therapy in Morristown NJ, Plagiocephaly or “Flat Head Syndrome” is a common condition treated by our physical therapists. At Home Base PT our physical therapists specialize in treating infant and toddler issues such as Plagiocephaly.