What Happens at a Plagiocephaly Evaluation?

What to Expect at Your First Plagiocephaly Appointment

If you have noticed a flat spot on your baby’s head and are considering going for a plagiocephaly evaluation, there are probably several questions running through your mind. How will the condition be assessed? Will it be painful or frightening for my baby? And supposing that my baby does have plagiocephaly, what happens next? Will they tell me the truth?

First of all, we would like to assure you that plagiocephaly evaluations are completely pain-free, as is the treatment itself. Assuming that you choose an established, reputable clinic with qualified and experienced practitioners, you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

So what will happen at your baby’s first plagiocephaly appointment? Well, the specifics vary between clinical companies, but this post should at least give you an idea of what to expect from a plagiocephaly evaluation, whether you see one of Technology in Motion’s clinicians or go elsewhere.

Plagiocephaly Evaluation: The Process

Plagiocephaly evaluationIn a plagiocephaly evaluation, the clinician, usually an Orthotist, should take a detailed history from birth to the time that you come to see them. They should ask about the type of birth, the position of the baby and when you first noticed the flattening, and then evaluate your baby’s development to date. They should measure the head circumference and take two sets of measurements – width and length, and across the ‘corners’ – to allow them to assess the severity of the condition.

Having gathered all the necessary information, your Orthotist should explain the treatment options. At Technology in Motion, we don’t recommend treatment for normal or mild head shapes as they are within the least severe 95% of the population. If your baby is less than four months old you should be advised to continue repositioning to see if this will help to improve the head shape and reduce any asymmetry or excess width / length. Repositioning involves encouraging your baby to vary the position of the head while playing, feeding and sleeping – you might well have already heard about tummy time, for example. Please note that your baby must always be placed on the back to sleep to lower the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

UK NHS advice is that repositioning always works, and to some extent this is true especially for mild head deformities. However, moderate and severe cases will always retain some deformity even with repositioning unless you take other measures to improve it. We have seen many severe and advanced cases of deformational plagiocephaly in older infants where the asymmetry is still very noticeable, even when advice regarding repositioning has been followed to the letter. If this is the case and/or your baby is over four months old, repositioning is unlikely to be fully effective. Once babies reach this age they start to move more independently, making it almost impossible to encourage them to sit or lie in a certain way.

Sometimes at an assessment a scan is taken to bring up a 3D image of the head shape. Don’t worry – this is a safe, quick and pain-free process and Technology in Motion only uses photographic scanning methods with no lasers. If the asymmetry is moderate or severe, i.e. in the top 5% most severe of the infant population, and your baby is too old to benefit from repositioning, your Orthotist will suggest using a TiMband flat head helmet.Baby with flat head helmet

These gently correct the position and shape of the bones in the skull as the head grows, and cause absolutely no pain or discomfort. They been shown to improve the overall symmetry and proportions of babies’ head shapes, restoring them to what is accepted within our society as the norm.

Depending on the starting age (4 to 14 months), treatment takes three to six months and is most effective when carried out on babies aged between four and seven months. Improvement can still be seen even when treatment is started as late as at fourteen months. Unfortunately, starting treatment after this time renders it minimally effective as the majority of growth has already been achieved and there is little left to help bring about correction. If your baby is older and you are uncertain whether this kind of treatment is for you, please talk to your Orthotist.

What to Expect at Technology in Motion

Plagiocephaly scanAt Technology in Motion, we offer a free, no obligation plagiocephaly evaluation in which we will assess the severity of the problem and help you decide on the right course of treatment for your baby. We have the latest baby-friendly photographic scanning equipment, which we will use to take 3D images of your baby’s head. This gives us incredibly precise measurements, enabling us to provide you with accurate data regarding the extent of the deformity.

Our practice is completely unique in that at the end of the first plagiocephaly appointment we issue all parents with a USB stick containing visual and statistical data that can be reviewed later on at home. If treatment is required and you choose to go ahead with it, we refer to this and manual measurement data to monitor the progress your baby makes during treatment.

Before and after plagiocephaly scans

When making a helmet, our Orthotists use data from the scan to form a mould of the desired head shape. The helmet is then custom-made based on this model and then fitted around two weeks later. Our helmets consist of a semi soft closed cell foam liner with a polythene copolymer shell, which makes them lightweight, comfortable and durable.

By choosing Technology in Motion to treat your baby’s flat head syndrome, you can benefit from an all-inclusive treatment plan with no hidden costs. This includes the initial scan as well as regular appointments (after two weeks then at two- to four-week intervals, depending on the age of your child) to check up on progress and adjust the helmet. You will also have access to clinical and phone support whenever you need it and all scans, reports and letters required by your GP will also be covered.

To book a plagiocephaly evaluation in one of our clinics, call us on 0330 100 1800

Is There a Relationship Between Plagiocephaly and Ear Infections?

The relationship between plagiocephaly and ear infections recently came up in discussion on our Facebook page. In light of this, we thought we would share with you what is currently known about the link between plagiocephaly and otitis media (middle ear infections), bearing in mind that research in this area is limited.

What is Otitis Media?

The term ‘otitis media’ can be directly translated from Latin as inflammation of the middle ear. The infection is very common in childhood but can also occur later in life. It is caused by a blockage in the Eustachian (auditory) tube, which affects drainage of the middle ear, leading to earache and sometimes fever.

Plagiocephaly and Ear Infections

To the best of our knowledge, only one empirical study has been conducted specifically to investigate the link between plagiocephaly and ear infections.Plagiocephaly and ear infections

In 2009, Adam Purzycki and his colleagues at Wake Forest University Medical Center (Winston-Salem, NC) looked at the incidence of otitis media in children with plagiocephaly. They referred to the endemic rate of otitis media amongst children with a cleft palate, which is also associated with structural abnormalities in the middle ear. Purzycki and his team proposed that since positional plagiocephaly can also result in abnormal positioning of the ears, this too might increase the risk of ear infections.

They issued the parents of affected children with a retrospective questionnaire which asked them to report the number of ear infections their children had suffered. Around 50.4% reported at least one ear infection by the age of one. This is not drastically different from the rate of the condition in the normal population (as reported by the Center for Disease Control), which would suggest that plagiocephaly in infants does not increase their susceptibility to otitis media.

However, Purzycki also points out that the incidence of otitis media correlates directly with the severity of deformational plagiocephaly. While this trend is also statistically insignificant, tests of the middle ear that were run alongside the questionnaire showed that a disproportionate number of infants with plagiocephaly also had Eustachian tube dysfunction.

Purzycki’s research indicates that there is a relationship between plagiocephaly and ear infections. However, this relationship requires further investigation if its nature is to be fully understood.

Implications for Parents

For the time being, if your child has plagiocephaly and otitis media you should keep an eye on the symptoms, which often clear up by themselves without the need for medical help. If they haven’t improved after 24 hours, your child is in a lot of pain or there is fluid coming out of the ear, you should contact your GP.Plagiocephaly helmet

If your child has moderate to severe plagiocephaly, you could also look into helmet treatment. This will help correct the asymmetry of the head, realigning the ears and potentially reducing the risk of infection. To find out more, please browse our website or call us on 0113 218 8030.



Incidence of Otitis Media in Children with Deformational Plagiocephaly

Purzycki A1, Thompson E, Argenta L, David L.


New Orthotic Clinic in Southampton Now Open

We are proud to announce that we have opened a new orthotic clinic in Southampton this month. Located at the Velmore Community Centre in Chandlers Ford, just outside Eastleigh, the clinic will provide treatment for plagiocephaly as well as bracing for weak and damaged knees.Orthotic clinic in Southampton

About Our Orthotic Clinic in Southampton

Our Southampton orthotic clinic will be run by Peter Honeycombe, who is already lead Orthotist at the Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital NHS Trust. Peter has been qualified for over 25 years and has extensive experience covering almost all aspects of paediatric and adult orthotic practice, making him well placed to lead our new orthotic clinic in Southampton.Peter Honeycombe from the Southampton orthotic clinic

Peter originally established the orthortic department at Basingstoke as a training centre for University of Salford undergraduates. He has worked as an external examiner and given presentations to consultants, GPs and physiotherapists. He has also been an Executive Committee member, Secretary and Chair of the British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists, completing his term of office in 2012.

Peter treated our son in the Basingstoke clinic last year, and all I can say is what a lovely man. He always explained everything and listened to our concerns, he also had a lovely nature towards our little boy.

- Client testimonial, via Facebook

The clinic is conveniently located 20 minutes’ walk from Chandlers Ford railway station, with excellent transport links to Southampton, Eastleigh and surrounding areas.

Click here for address, map and directions.

To book an appointment at our orthotic clinic in Southampton, please contact us directly on 0330 100 1800

What Happens if You Don’t Treat Flat Head Syndrome?

Does Untreated Flat Head Syndrome Cause Problems Later in Life?

untreated flat head syndromeIf you’re struggling to decide whether or not to go ahead with treatment for flat head syndrome, you’re certainly not alone. A quick search for ‘flat head syndrome’ on a parenting forum soon confirms this. Do helmets harm babies’ heads? (Answer: no.) Can the flat spot return after treatment? (Answer: no.) What happens if you don’t treat flat head syndrome at all?

It’s really difficult for parents to gather sound and unbiased information which enables them to make an informed decision. Of course, all parents want what is best for their baby. But with so much conflicting information from GPs, paediatricians, treatment providers and other mums and dads, how do you know what is best and whether there really are any repercussions of leaving flat head syndrome untreated?

According to the NHS, flat head syndrome will nearly always improve by itself with a little help from repositioning and tummy time. On the other hand, Orthotists maintain that this isn’t necessarily true – especially if the flattening is severe or if the baby is older than 5 months. If correction is going to happen it will happen in the early months. Waiting and seeing or trying repositioning isn’t an option after this time for a moderate or severe head shape deformity.

This article discusses what happens if you don’t treat flat head syndrome, and aims to help you to base your treatment decision purely on the facts.

What Happens if You Don’t Treat Flat Head Syndrome?

One thing we know for certain is that flat head syndrome can and does improve by itself – provided the deformity isn’t severe, it’s noticed early enough, and that measures are rigorously taken to ensure that the baby doesn’t spend too long lying with the head in the same position.

However, there are many cases, approximately 5% of the population, in which the flat spot does become permanent. Again, a quick glance through parenting forums confirms this to be the case, e.g. BabyCenter:

Many physicians are now in agreement that those babies with moderate or severe flat head syndrome can only be successfully treated by means of a helmet. However, since there is very little research into flat head syndrome, the condition currently lacks a definitive standard of care that is applicable on a national scale.

flat head helmetIn order to get conclusive evidence about the effectiveness of helmets, doctors and scientists would have to run a randomised controlled clinical trial. For this, infants with flat head syndrome would have to be randomly divided into two groups, one of which would receive treatment, and the other of which wouldn’t. Unfortunately, when this kind of study has been tried, nobody wants to be in the untreated group so the data immediately becomes corrupted.

Many experts think that this type of study will not be undertaken, and  according to this LiveScience article, clinicians already know from experience that the treatment works, so it would be unethical not to treat the control group. In the UK there is a large untreated group and a relatively small treated one so to undertake a comparison study should not be difficult, but the work is not being done.

So if severe flat head syndrome doesn’t adequately correct itself, what are the repercussions of leaving it untreated?

There is one indisputable practical outcome of leaving flat head syndrome untreated, which is the issue of being unable to wear many types of protective headwear. Whether it’s for leisure, e.g. cycling, horse riding or rock climbing; or for work, e.g. construction, armed forces or emergency services; helmets are only made to fit heads that are within the ‘normal range’. So untreated flat head syndrome will restrict the number of activities in which a person can safely participate.

A related psychosocial consequence is the emotional difficulties a person might face throughout childhood and possibly into later life as a result of their ‘abnormal’ head shape. Unfortunately, there’s no getting away from the fact in our society, symmetric facial features are considered more attractive than asymmetrical ones. This also means that your child may feel that they are unable to wear certain hairstyles, opting instead for ones that conceal their deformity as best as possible.

Research into the potential developmental issues associated with flat head syndrome is still in the early stages and there is difficulty in determining a causal relationship. However, preliminary and ongoing studies indicate that there is a link between flat head syndrome and delay in neural development, especially in terms of motor function.

So the short answer to the question of what happens if you don’t treat flat head syndrome is that, if moderate or severe, it probably won’t improve adequately by itself. Self correction depends on several factors, including age, the severity of the condition and the amount of time your baby spends with the head in the same position. Aside from potential safety, practical and psychosocial issues, the consequences of leaving flat head syndrome untreated are becoming clearer as the affected population group reaches maturity.plagiocephaly

If you are interested in helmet treatment and your baby is under 14 months old, Technology in Motion can help. Browse our website at www.technologyinmotion.com for more information or call 0113 218 8030 to enquire about treatment options.

What is the Best Treatment for Foot Drop?

Choosing Between Functional Electrical Stimulation and Ankle-Foot Orthosis

Foot drop tends to be a symptom of another condition rather than a disease in its own right. It most commonly occurs as a result of nerve damage either in the central nervous system which is the brain and spinal cord, or in the peripheral nervous system which are the nerves from the spinal cord to the muscles. The root cause therefore needs to be investigated and a treatment for foot drop administered to help you regain control and mobility. The question is, what is the best treatment for foot drop? This post investigates the applications and benefits of the two most common treatments to help you make the right decision.

What is the Best Treatment for Foot Drop?

Foot drop is usually treated either via ankle and foot orthotics or functional electrical stimulation (FES). The former is a brace worn on the foot and lower leg to provide support, increase control and protect against further injury. The latter is a device with electrodes just below the knee, which electrically stimulates the nerve to lift the foot at the right time while walking. Both treatments will enable you to walk more naturally, efficiently and safely.AFO

A foot orthosis (splint) is the most common form of treatment and works for virtually anyone, whether you have suffered a degenerative disease or a traumatic or local nervous system injury, and can be made to give optimum support depending on the overall disability. FES is relatively new but rapidly growing in popularity; however, it can only be used if the foot drop was caused by a central nervous system injury, such as cerebral palsy, stroke, multiple sclerosis or a high spinal trauma.

what is the best treatment for foot dropResearch has shown that both foot drop treatments can help improve walking speed, endurance in walking range and bodily mobility in general. No significant difference was found between the two treatments in terms of these three factors.

However, while a foot orthosis supports the ankle, increases control and helps correct the deformity, FES can also encourage muscle development and restore reflex responses. It has the potential to correct your gait and may even enable you to regain voluntary control over your foot and ankle over time. This is because the brain can relearn, which is known as neural plasticity – a most exciting area of research.

Apart from the fact that FES is only suitable for patients with an upper motor neuron injury, the decision really depends on what you want to get out of your foot drop treatment. Traditional orthotics provide stable and consistent support, while FES also has the potential to correct your gait, further increasing independence.

Technology in Motion provides both foot orthotics and FES, and can help you decide on the best treatment for your foot drop depending on the condition and your lifestyle. Browse the website for more information or call 0113 218 8030 to speak to an expert Orthotist.

How to Prevent Deformational Plagiocephaly

Preventing Permanent Deformation in Babies with Plagiocephaly

happy babyWhile it might look alarming to the untrained eye, the flattened spot associated with plagiocephaly (A.K.A. Flat Head Syndrome) can be corrected and further deformation prevented. However, it’s vital to take action early on before the skull hardens, movement becomes independent and deformation becomes permanent. This guide explains how to prevent deformational plagiocephaly, using tried and trusted methods that are often adequate without the need for clinical treatment.

How to Prevent Deformational Plagiocephaly

If your baby is up to four months old, the repositioning techniques outlined in this section should at least help reduce the prominence of the flat spot. If they’re older than this, you may need to take further action – skip to the next section for details.

tummy timePlagiocephaly is most commonly caused by consistently lying with the head in the same position. The aim of repositioning is to break this cycle by encouraging your baby to vary the head position. However, habits can be difficult to change, even for a very tiny baby and babies can be reluctant to play along. There are various techniques you can employ to help overcome this reluctance, for example:

  • Hold toys and objects of interest just out of eyeshot, encouraging your baby to turn round.
  • Have regular ‘tummy time’ with your baby, where you lay them on their front to play.
  • Change the positioning of toys in the cot to encourage your baby to face the other way.
  • When your baby sits on your knee, ensure that they’re not resting their head against you.
  • Carry your baby in a sling to minimise pressure on the head.

More repositioning techniques can be found here.

While you should always place your baby on their back to sleep in order to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), subtle variations in the head position can still help prevent deformational plagiocephaly by reducing pressure on the affected area.

If your baby has plagiocephaly and torticollis (the latter being characterised by a shortened neck muscle and the head remaining turned to one side), you should also attempt to encourage greater neck movement. Gently ease the head from one side to the other, being careful not to go further than is comfortable. Again, you could use toys as an incentive for them to turn. This should loosen up and stretch the muscles and improve mobility. You may also wish to enlist the help of a physiotherapist or osteopath to help build up mobility, core strength and midline stability.

If these techniques fail to make the difference you had hoped for, the next section explains how to prevent deformational plagiocephaly where repositioning techniques have failed.

What to Do if Repositioning Fails / Your Baby is Too Old to Benefit

how to prevent deformational plagiocephalyIf your baby is between 4 and 14 months old and still has a flat spot, you may wish to consider further action. Standard advice is that plagiocephaly will self-correct, but this isn’t necessarily true – especially in severe cases. It’s also commonly thought that the condition has no developmental side effects, but this assumption has recently been called into question. And even if it doesn’t affect development, deformational plagiocephaly still has emotional implications for later life.

The most common treatment for advanced and severe plagiocephaly comes in the form of a baby’s flat head helmet, which gently remoulds the skull as it grows. Again, this is nowhere near as scary as you might imagine: the helmet is padded, lightweight and custom fitted, and the process is so gradual that once babies have become used to it, they hardly notice it’s there.

To enquire about a helmet or for further advice regarding how to prevent deformational plagiocephaly, call Technology in Motion on 0113 218 8030

How to Prevent Knee Injuries While Snowboarding

This 5 minute guide explains how to prevent knee injuries while snowboarding, helpful if you want to support a previously weakened ACL and protect against further damage.

When Do Snowboarding Knee Injuries Occur?

ACL (anterior cruiciate ligament) injuries are among the most common sustained by snowboarders, second only to wrist fractures. Snowboarding knee injuries tend to occur when miscalculated jumps, tricks and collisions place an unnatural strain on the ligaments. Even getting off a chairlift can be enough to cause damage if you twist and put all your weight on your knees as you land.

In September last year, Billy Morgan, the first snowboarder to land a triple backside rodeo (three flips in mid-air), ruptured the ACL and MCL (anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligamentsl) in his right knee during training. Billy was set to compete for Team GB at Sochi 2014, and understandably he was devastated. However, he didn’t let his snowboarding knee injuries stop him.

With the right physiotherapy and support, Billy managed not only to compete in the Winter Olympics, but qualified for the finals with an incredible 90.7, eventually finishing 10th. And a couple of weeks later, France’s snowboard cross champion Pierre Vaultier won gold – having torn his ACL just two months before the games.

How to Prevent Knee Injuries While Snowboarding

As the above examples show, snowboarding knee injuries such as ACL tears needn’t stop you from enjoying the sport, or indeed returning to a high performance level.

Neither Billy Morgan nor Pierre Vaultier had surgery. This can take up to six months, so rather than miss the games they were willing to risk further injury in order to compete. However, if you have suffered a torn ACL and wish to continue participating in high-demand physical activity, surgery is recommended. It will help you regain stability, in turn enabling a safe return to sport without the danger of another, potentially more severe injury.

If you have already undergone surgery and/or wish to support a partially torn ligament or weak knee, a good quality ACL knee brace is the best solution. This is what enabled Billy Morgan and Pierre Vaultier to give such a fantastic performance in the games – against all odds.

Choosing Knee Braces for Snowboardingcti knee braces for snowboarding

The best knee braces for snowboarding are those which provide rigid control and support for the entire knee, preventing unnatural movement. Fabric knee supports are not supportive enough to provide full protection against such movement, making them inadequate as a safeguard against snowboarding knee injuries.

Two of the best known knee braces for snowboarding are:

  • Ossur CTi – combining a rigid carbon composite frame with silicone padding and tibial straps, the CTi is both highly supportive and incredibly comfortable.
  • DonJoy Armor FourcePoint – this is made with a light, aircraft-quality aluminium frame, steel outer plates and anti-migration padding to give incredible protection and support.

how to prevent knee injuries while snowboardingEach of these knee braces for snowboarding are favoured by amateur and professional snowboarders the world over. If you would like to give one a try, Technology in Motion supplies both and can help you decide on the best ACL knee brace to suit your injury and lifestyle. We have clinics up and down the UK and are recommended by physiotherapists and orthopaedic consultants nationwide.

I hope this has given you a clearer picture of how to prevent knee injuries while snowboarding. However, please call us on 0113 218 8030 if you would like further information or advice and we’ll be happy to help.

Plagiocephaly Fundraising: Evan’s Success Story

How One Mum Raised £4,000 for Her Son’s Plagiocephaly Treatment

At Technology in Motion, we get to hear many incredible plagiocephaly fundraising stories. Recently, the story of Adele and her son, Evan, reduced even the more hard-hearted of us to tears.

A few months ago, Evan was diagnosed with severe plagiocephaly and we advised Adele to try a corrective helmet. Unfortunately, the Durham mother couldn’t afford to pay for the non-NHS-funded plagiocephaly treatment and began to worry that her son would be stuck with his deformity for life. Plagiocephaly Fundraising - Evan

Standard NHS advice is that plagiocephaly is purely cosmetic and will correct itself over time, neither of which are necessarily true. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that plagiocephaly doesn’t always self-correct, especially in severe cases. And even if plagiocephaly is purely a cosmetic concern (recent research raises doubts), the resulting deformity can have a devastating effect on children’s self confidence.

Adele’s Plagiocephaly Fundraising ProgrammePlagiocephaly Fundraising - Asda

Adele refused to give up. If the NHS wouldn’t help her, she would embark on a plagiocephaly fundraising campaign of her own. She wrote to Headstart4Babies, contacted local papers, set up the Help Evan group on Facebook, and organised local collections, community events, awareness days – everything she could possibly think of – until she had enough money for her son’s plagiocephaly treatment.

What She Did:

  • Awareness day in local Asda with collection buckets and ongoing token scheme
  • Sponsored night-time onesy walk through Durham city centre
  • Fundraising club event with two local singers
  • Halloween party
  • Tabletop sale and raffle
  • Fashion show

And she didn’t stop there. Adele ended up raising £4,651.44, more than twice the cost of plagiocephaly treatment. Aware of many other mums in the same position, she sent most of the spare cash to a mother of affected twins in Scotland and left the remaining money with the clinic to help other struggling parents.

EvanTouched by Adele’s kindness, the Scottish twins’ mother went on a plagiocephaly fundraising campaign of her own. She has now raised enough to help several other mums, and the chain of goodwill continues to this day.

Evan’s head is now within the normal range and his helmet comes off on Friday 7th February.

For more information on plagiocephaly fundraising, please visit our charities and fundraising page.

Which Are the Best Knee Braces for Sports Injuries?

Choosing the Right Brace for Your Knee Ligament Injury

A torn or ruptured ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is one of the most common types of knee injury, most often seen in athletes. Following his injury in Arsenal’s first game of 2014, news of Theo Walcott’s ruptured ACL devastated fans as it was revealed that he would be out of action for at least six months. He will be undergoing reconstructive surgery to repair the ligament, followed by a six-month recovery period. Knee braces for sports are usually recommended in such cases to support and protect the weakened ACL and help patients return to an activity level that’s as close to their original standard as possible.

If you have suffered an ACL injury, the correct knee brace knee braces for sportscan enable you to return to your favourite sports with full confidence. Even if you haven’t been injured but simply have unstable knees, knee braces for sports can help provide you with the extra protection and support you require while minimising further damage.

Which Knee Braces to Choose for Sports Injuries

While soft knee braces are the cheapest option, usually available on the internet or out of a therapist’s cupboard, they will not give adequate control in high-impact, high-energy situations or where there is low speed high torque in the knee, making them unsuitable for those who regularly participate in vigorous physical activity.

The best knee braces for sports injuries are those with a rigid shell, which are designed to protect and support all the key ligaments. A rigid, well fitted ACL knee brace will give your joints greater control and precision of movement than a soft elasticated type can, improving performance and helping protect against further damage.

Össur’s CTi and DonJoy’s Armor FourcePoint, available through Technology in Motion, are favoured by active individuals and sporting professionals all over the world, from keen skiers to pro skateboarders. They combine a firm laminated carbon composite or aluminium frame with  flexible sub-shells, silicone padding and adjustable tibial strap to give full comfort, support and adjustability. They are ideal for ACL, MCL, LCL and PCL injuries of all kinds, including rotational and combined instabilities.

ACL knee braceIf you’re looking for the best knee brace to suit your injury and lifestyle, contact Technology in Motion today. We have been supplying knee braces for sports injuries for over 20 years and have access to a wide range of knee braces for sports, including those from Össur and DonJoy. We will take a detailed history of the injury and test all your ligaments, enabling us to find the right solution for you.

Please call 0330 100 1800 or 0113 218 8030 to arrange an appointment or for more information on our UK clinics, products and services.

Is there a Link Between Plagiocephaly and Development Delay?

Assessing The Relationship Between Plagiocephaly and Neural Development

Forums like Babycenter reveal that many parents are concerned about a potential link between plagiocephaly and development delay. It seems that a number of children who have experienced plagiocephaly (Flat Head Syndrome) can also have other neurodevelopmental issues but with so little research conducted in this area, a cause-and-effect relationship between plagiocephaly and neural development can be difficult for parents to establish.

Plagiocephaly and Developmental Delay

A 2010 study on the neurodevelopment of children with plagiocephaly may at least shed a little light on the possible relationship between plagiocephaly and development delay.

Positional plagiocephalyMatthew L. Speltz and his team compared the neurodevelopment of six-month-old infants with and without deformational plagiocephaly*. The incidence of developmental delays in affected children was significant, especially  in terms of motor function. However, they also point out that motor, language and cognitive skills are closely interlinked in young infants, making it difficult to differentiate between the three with complete certainty. At best they found that there was a variance in motor skill development amongst infants with plagiocephaly.

So, there is an established link between neural development and head shape deformities, although more work needs to be done in order to define which is the initiator of either condition.

Research is ongoing, so hopefully we will have more information on this relationship in the near future. In 2010, Speltz and his team recommend that paediatricians pay close attention to the developmental rate of children with plagiocephaly. So far there’s little evidence that this recommendation is being heeded, with most UK GPs and paediatricians telling parents that the condition is merely cosmetic and that there are no other issues.

While research on the relationship between plagiocephaly and developmental delay is only now being undertaken, more rigorous investigation is needed to establish the cause of developmental delays in children who have deformational plagiocephaly.

In the meantime, once the head shape has been corrected parents should continue to monitor their children throughout school ages for evidence of developmental delays.

Advice for Parents

If you have a baby with Flat Head Syndrome we would follow the advice of Speltz and his team. Keep a close eye on your baby’s development and if you have any concerns, arrange an appointment with your doctor.

If your baby is between 4 and 14 months old and the condmanaging plagiocephalyition isn’t improving as you’d hope, you should also look into baby flat head treatment by means of a plagiocephaly helmet. This will gradually allow the skull to grow into a more normal shape, giving a gentle and permanent correction. Treatment will not cause or improve any neurodevelopment issues according to research.

Go to www.technologyinmotion.com for more information on plagiocephaly and related conditions, including symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. Alternatively, call us on 0330 100 1800 or 0113 218 for expert help and advice, or to arrange an appointment with a plagiocephaly specialist.


*Case-Control Study of Neurodevelopment in Deformational Plagiocephaly

Matthew L. Speltz, Brent R. Collett, Marni Stott-Miller, Jacqueline R. Starr, Carrie Heike, Antigone M. Wolfram-Aduan, Darcy King and Michael L. Cunningham.

PEDIATRICS Volume 125, Number 3, March 2010; originally published online February 15, 2010