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Does Plagiocephaly Correct Itself?
Does Flat Head Syndrome Go Away?
Almost every parent is told by their GP, health visitor or paediatrician that their baby’s misshapen head will improve without treatment. Parents are also told that many babies have plagiocephaly and that it never causes a problem, as a lot of children have funny shaped heads. Their hair will cover it, and after all, it’s ‘only’ cosmetic.
To us, this advice seems to be somewhat negligent and many parents who contacts us continue to have concerns about their babies’ misshapen heads. To illustrate this, the parents of one little boy, now aged three, and his brother, aged five months, have kindly allowed us to share their story.
When the older of the two boys was a baby, his parents took him to their GP and asked the health visitor for advice on his misshapen head. They were told that this would self correct, which it did - to a small extent. Looking at the shape now, it has improved a little bit, but it is still far from being normal.
The first picture was taken when the boy was between five and six months old; the second is at three years of age. As you can see, the parents are working to reposition and take the pressure off the flattened area.
It’s difficult to be precise with images but we estimate that the original CI (that is the width divided by the length percentage) is 103% with an asymmetry of approximately 28mm. We estimate the CI in the second image to be in the region of 100% with an asymmetry of 22mm.
Normal head width is 78% of the length with an asymmetry of below 5mm. This little chap achieved an improvement of 3% in width to length ratio and an improvement of 6mm in asymmetry over two and a half to three years. This change is shown here on our severity chart:
Compare this result with that of an infant who has undergone plagiocephaly treatment for only one week:
Or this one who wore his helmet for nine weeks:
As you can see, we are able to rapidly bring misshapen heads back to the norm and provide a permanent, lifelong correction.
So, is this important? Well, yes - for many reasons. Firstly, there is the obvious psychosocial issue of entering into society and finding your place. Like it or not, we are a very visual group of people and psychologists recognise that people with symmetrical features are regarded as being more physically attractive than those whose features are asymmetric.
Secondly, there is the practical issue of being able to wear protective headgear in childhood and later life.
Last, but certainly not least, is the link between plagiocephaly and a slight delay in motor skill development. No causal link has been established (i.e. plagiocephaly does not necessarily cause these issues), but research has shown that there is an association. These children are able to function perfectly normally, but efforts should be made to ensure that they are achieving their maximum potential for the sake of their personal and emotional welfare.
So what happened to the little brother?
He did not have such a severely misshapen head as his older brother, but it was within our treatment ranges and we treated him with great results:
Here are his before and after scans. As you can see his head was quite wide, and this has been corrected by focussing the growth towards the back of his head. The right brow was initially further forward than the left, and this has also been corrected.
Our experience is that if a head shape is not starting to correct after five months of age, then it won’t do so without a little help.
Since starting to offer this treatment in 2003, we’ve treated thousands of infants, always with excellent results. So if your baby has flat head syndrome, call Technology in Motion on 0113 218 8030 to arrange treatment or find out more at www.technologyinmotion.com