Chiropractic Care for Plagiocephaly (Flat Headedness)

(Health Secrets) Plagiocephaly, commonly known as flat headedness, is a condition of the skull where there is asymmetrical distortion, or flattening of one side. There are various theories about the causes of flat headedness: infants sleeping on their backs, muscular torticollis in which the head is tipped to one side while the chin is turned to the other side, intra-uterine constraint where there is pressure/restriction inside the uterus, as well as birth trauma especially when external force such as forceps or vacuum extraction is used.

As varied as the causes of flat headedness are, so too are the treatments. Increasing tummy time, reducing the amount of time an infant spends in a car seat, carrier, swing or any other apparatus that causes the child to rest on the back of their head as well as medically fitted helmets are solutions that are offered to most parents whose child has a flat head. Increasing tummy time is very beneficial for the infant, as this allows the child’s spinal curves to develop and strengthen properly while decreasing pressure on the skull. Decreasing the time an infant spends in a position where undue pressure is put on their spine (such as in car seats, carriers and swings) is also advantageous as it reduces pressure of different areas on the spine, most notably the head and back.

A common treatment today is the use of medically fitted helmets. While these apparatuses can mold the skull into a more aesthetically pleasing shape, the helmets don’t necessarily get rid of the cause of the flat-headedness.

When we consider intra-uterine constraint as well as birth trauma, we see one common thread — both have the potential to put vast amounts of pressure on the newborn’s spine, especially their cervical spine (neck). This pressure can cause subluxations. A subluxation occurs when one or more of the bones of the spine (vertebrae) move out of position and create pressure on, or irritate spinal nerves. Spinal nerves exit between each of the bones in your spine. This pressure or irritation on the nerves then causes malfunction and interferes with the signals traveling over those nerves. So, what does a subluxation in the spine have to do with flat-headedness, which has to do with the skull?

Let me explain. When a vertebra subluxates, there is decreased motion in that joint. This lack of motion in the spine will cause a decrease in an infant’s range of motion. When a vertebra in the cervical spine subluxates, the entire neck and head are affected. With that being said, if an infant is unable to move his neck freely due to a subluxation, he will keep his head in a certain position for extended periods of time, thus creating plagiocephaly.

By removing the subluxation from the spine through specific chiropractic adjustments, the infant’s head is now able to move freely, removing unnecessary pressure on one spot in the skull.

Pediatric chiropractic adjustments are safe and effective for many infantile/childhood ailments. Plagiocephaly is just one of the many conditions that see great improvements with chiropractic adjustments.

Published with permission from AlignLife. Original article link is here.
Flat headedness, is a condition of the skull with asymmetrical distortion of the head. Find out why chiropractic may be the best treatment option.


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