Baby Flat Head

Baby flat head syndrome & plagiocephaly treatment with our paediatric physiotherapists and osteopaths in London at our practices in East London Moorgate Monument EC3, Belgravia Westminster SW1 and Clapham SW4 or at your home in London

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What Is Baby Flat Head also called Plagiocephaly

Baby flat head syndrome also called Positional Plagiocephaly is a disorder where the back or one side of an infant’s head is flattened, often with little hair growing in that area. It’s most often the result of babies spending a lot of time lying in the same position, either on their back or on one side if the baby also have a torticollis.

Even though the flat head has been considered to be a pure aesthetic problem, a recent case-control study led by Matthew L. Speltz, PhD at the Seattle Children Hospital – which included 235 infants with deformational plagiocephaly and 237 normal infants, found that the infants with flat heads had significantly lower mean scores on neurodevelopmental tests. It is important to know that the earliest this issue is treated, the better the outcome will be.

Our paediatric physiotherapists and osteopaths in London are specialised in baby flat head syndrome treatments

At Baby Physio London, our paediatric physiotherapist and osteopath are specialised in the treatment of flat head syndrome, stiff neck and torticollis on babies. They have years of expertise and extensive knowledge in paediatrics and can help your baby in only a few sessions if taken early enough.

If you are an Axa or Bupa patient, you cannot book online. Please call our office with your authorisation number.

If you cannot find an appointment that suits you or would like a home visit, call us or send us a message: we will do our best to find you a slot.

Baby flat head physiotherapy treatment in East London Moorgate Monument EC3, Belgravia Westminster SW1 and Clapham SW4 or at your home in London with our physiotherapists and osteopaths specialised in treating flat head syndromes, plagiocephaly, torticollis and stiff neck on newborn babies

Our team of highly trained physiotherapists & osteopaths provide treatments at our practices in London:

  • Light Centre Belgravia near Victoria Station: 9 Eccleston Street, SW1W 9LX
  • Light Centre Monument near Moorgate, London Bridge Bank: 36 St Mary at Hill, EC3R 8DU
  • Make Me Feel Pharmacy Clapham between Clapham South Clapham Common: 25 Abbeville Road, SW4 9LA
  • Light Centre Clapham, right next to Clapham Common Station: 151-153 Clapham High Street, London SW4 7SS

In order to treat your baby in a familiar environment, we also offer home visits in London for the treatment of flat head.

Our physiotherapy and osteopathy treatments are covered by most health insurances and are Bupa registered & recognised (BUPA Global and BUPA UK), Axa registered & recognised (AXA International, AXA PPP), Cigna registered & recognised and WPA registered & recognised

For Baby Flat Head Syndrome home visit or practice Physiotherapy & Osteopathy treatment in London : 0207 125 0262 / 0782 455 3765

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More information about baby flat head syndrome and its physiotherapy and osteopathy treatment in London

What can physiotherapy and osteopathy do to treat baby flat head syndrome or plagiocephaly?

At Baby Physio London, every first session starts with a meticulous assessment in order to determine the nature and level of the issue, and to start a treatment program specifically tailored to your baby’s needs during the same visit.

Our paediatric physiotherapist and osteopath will use soft and gentle techniques, combining tissue massages and stretches to loosen up the muscles in your baby’s neck. By using different little games and exercises as well as visual and audio stimulation, they will teach your baby to turn their head on each side. The physiotherapist or osteopath will create also an exercises program to practice daily at home, as regular stimulation is one of the keys of a successful treatment..

These exercises, alongside physiotherapy and osteopathy treatments during the sessions, will allow your baby’s head to get back to its normal shape without any pain and discomfort. It is however advised to begin this kind of treatment early, in order to minimize the risk of permanent head deformity.

What is flat head syndrome?

Flat Head Syndrome is a familiar phrase that refers to multiple medical conditions, which include:

  • Plagiocephaly
  • Brachycephaly
  • Doliocephaly
  • Craniosynostosis

Typically, the average skull is one third longer than it is wide. Passage through the birth canal often makes a newborn’s head appears pointy or elongated for a few days. Because infants’ heads are soft to allow the incredible brain growth that occurs in the first year of life, they’re susceptible of being “molded” into a flat shape.

A baby’s skull is made up of several separate bones. It may be slightly misshapen during the few days or weeks after birth. However, if a baby develops a persistent flat spot, either on one side (Plagiocephaly) or the back of the head (Brachycephaly), it may be a sign of positional plagiocephaly, also known as flat head syndrome.

How to prevent positional plagiocephaly

  • Providing “Tummy Time” when your baby is awake and someone is watching. Tummy Time not only helps prevent flat spots, but it also helps the baby’s head, neck, and shoulder muscles get stronger as part of normal development.
  • Changing the direction that your baby lies in the crib from one week to the next
  • Changing the location of the baby’s crib in the room so that he or she has to look in different directions to see the door or the window.
  • Avoiding too much time in car seats, carriers, and bouncers while the infant is awake.
  • Getting “cuddle time” with the baby by holding him or her upright over one shoulder often during the day.

What are the different types of baby flat head?

Positional or deformational plagiocephaly refers to a flattening of the right or left occiput caused by repeated pressure to one side of the back of the soft infant skull. Multiple terms have been used to describe this posterior skull deformation:

  • Functional synostosis
  • Plagiocephaly without synostosis
  • Deformational plagiocephaly
  • Positional plagiocephaly
  • Lambdoid positional molding
  • Occipital plagiocephaly
  • Positional skull deformity

What is Plagiocephaly?

Plagiocephaly is, when looked at from above the baby’s head, one ear may look more forward than the other. Plagiocephaly literally means “oblique head” (from the Greek words “plagio” meaning oblique and “cephale” meaning head).

Deformational plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome) produces an undesirable effect on the aesthetic appearance. Baby flat head syndrome does not only lead to distortion of the skull shape but sometimes also facial asymmetry.

On severe Plagiocephaly cases: one eye appears larger than the other, the ear on the flattened side is pushed forward than the other side, eyes alignment variations can appear, one cheek appears fuller than the other and the forehead on the flattened side is more prominent.

What is Brachycephaly?

Brachycephaly refers to a condition where the head is disproportionately wider compared to its depth. The flattening of the occiput (the back of the head) is due to the constant pressure on the back of the head when staying in supine position (laying back).

What is Dolicocephaly?

Dolicocephaly is defined as the lateral head flattening in preterm babies. It is a common skull distortion due to the constant pressure on the sides of the head. This results in infants with long and narrow heads.

What is torticollis?

Torticollis is caused by the unilateral tightness or shortening (imbalance) of one or more of the cervical muscles (particularly the Sternocleidomastoid muscle). Plagiocephaly is often associated with a torticollis where there is some limit of active neck movements that leads to a preference for turning the head to one side.

Torticollis could be both a cause and effect of deformational plagiocephaly.
Some infants born with torticollis related to placement in utero during pregnancy or to a birthing cervical trauma, or from other underlying disorders develop plagiocephaly after birth. If the infant is born with congenital muscular torticollis, the turn and tilt of the head from the shortened sternocleidomastoid muscle initiates the side preference and the occiput flattens correspondingly.

Alternatively, the child could first develop a preference for head positioning with positional plagiocephaly, and the persistence of the head rotated in one direction could cause chronic shortening of the cervical muscles resulting in a torticollis.

If you are an Axa or Bupa patient, you cannot book online. Please call our office with your authorisation number.

If you cannot find an appointment that suits you or would like a home visit, call us or send us a message: we will do our best to find you a slot.

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