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Plagiocephaly: Does My Child Need a Helmet?





Deformational, or positional, plagiocephaly is when a baby develops a flat spot on one side of the head or the whole back of the head. It happens when a baby sleeps in the same position most of the time or because of problems with the neck muscles that result in a head-turning preference. Deformational plagiocephaly is also sometimes called “flat head syndrome.”

What causes deformational plagiocephaly?

When a baby’s head stays in one position for long periods of time, the skull flattens. Sometimes a baby is born with this flattening because of a tight space in the uterus. This risk is often increased if there are twins or multiples. Other things that may lead to deformational plagiocephaly include:

  • Muscular torticollis. Muscular torticollis is a problem that is present at birth (congenital). One or more of the neck muscles is very tight. This tightness keeps the baby’s head in the same position.

  • Cervical Subluxations. Over 90% of all babies are born with a cervical subluxation. This restricts the baby’s ability to properly move their neck/head. We see nursing issues, poor latching, favoring one breast, head tilts, head rotations, reflux, and more when babies have cervical subluxations.
  • Prematurity. The skull bones of premature babies are softer. And many premature babies spend a lot of time in the hospital on respirators with their heads in the same position.

  • Back sleeping. Babies who sleep on their backs or in car seats without changing positions for long periods of time can develop flat heads. However, the safest way for babies to sleep is on their back. This reduces the risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

What are the symptoms of deformational plagiocephaly?

This problem may not be noticeable or present at birth. It may develop during the first few months of life. A flat spot may appear on one side of the head or the whole back of the head as the baby grows.

In Addition to a flat spot!

Often, we clinically find, reflux and other gastrointestinal issues such as colic are present with plagiocephaly. When baby cannot move their head due to a cervical subluxation, reflux, colic, irritability, body tension, kicking legs, inconsolable, constipation, chronic allergies, and more can often be helped when baby can properly move their head.

But it isn’t just a neck issue. The baby’s palate, sphenoid, occiput, and facial bones are also affected and must be evaluated and addressed. This is a HUGE part of their care that must not be missed or neglected. Very few chiropractors in Omaha trained to properly assess these structures. Dr. Johnson at Green Chiropractic is a chiropractor who is properly trained and is a Certified Pediatric Chiropractor.

Putting a helmet on a baby might help to reshape the skull, however, it will do nothing to correct the cervical, cranial, and facial subluxation baby will have.

Call Green Chiropractic to have your baby seen by Dr. Johnson 402-933-5392




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