Positional plagiocephaly is a flattened spot on the baby’s head that can develop if the baby has prolonged mechanical forces to their rapidly growing skull, such as lying on the same spot over a prolonged period of time due to a side preference.
Plagiocephaly may occur before or during birth but tends to occur mostly commonly in the immediate post-natal period. This is most common to the side and the back of the head. There is no evidence to suggest that plagiocephaly has any effect on brain development.
Generally, plagiocephaly is preventable and can be treated by counter positioning, or in more severe cases by helmet therapy. Tummy time is also important.
Another cause of plagiocephaly is muscular torticollis, a congenital condition caused by shortening or tightening of one or more of the neck muscles. This causes the infant’s head to tilt and/or turn to favour one particular direction. Physiotherapy can help this condition with stretching, positioning; and parental education.
For both plagiocephaly and torticollis, it is important to address these issues early for the best results as the majority of head growth occurs in the first 12 months of life and muscles may become tighter over time.
At Physioworks Health Group Camberwell, our Paediatric Physiotherapists Liz Martin and Adrienne Harvey have expertise in plagiocephaly. They can assess your baby’s head and neck then provide you with tailored education and activities at home to improve your child’s head shape and neck movement.
For Paediatric Physiotherapy consultation at Physioworks Health Group Camberwell please call the clinic on (03) 9889 6611.