Clinical research has shed light on the potential benefits of chiropractic care in restoring normal head shape to infants. This promising study revealed a remarkable 33% decrease in asymmetry between the sides of the head among participants (see chart below). In fact, 20 out of the 64 infants involved in the study experienced a complete resolution of head deformation, with a measurement difference below 0.4cm (4).
Understanding Infant Head Deformation:
A baby's head can become misshapen due to spinal tension, which can lead them to favor looking in one particular direction. This repeated positioning of their soft skull against a surface they frequently lie on can result in a change in the shape and position of the skull bones, often presenting as a flat spot and uneven ears when viewed from above (see diagram). Medically, this condition is known as deformational plagiocephaly.
Explore Our Informative Blog Post:
Discover crucial insights about your baby's flat head, misshapen head, or plagiocephaly in our must-read blog post titled What you need to know about your Babys Flat Head Misshapen Head Plagiocephaly
This blog post explores the relationship between a child's head shape, their coordination of body movements, and their learning potential. While there's no need to panic if your child has a misshapen head, recent medical research suggests that if your child exhibits a flat spot on their head, it may be wise to have them assessed to ensure their neuromuscular development is on track (1).
In cases of plagiocephaly, the primary goal of chiropractic care is to restore normal spinal function. This restoration may help your child stop favouring one side, allowing their head to grow naturally and fill out over time.
It's important to note that the extent of head shape improvement may vary depending on your infant's age. The greatest odds of success are typically seen when treatment begins before the age of 6 months, although some improvement has been observed in older infants.
If you have any questions or concerns, we encourage you to contact our office and speak with one of our experienced chiropractors. We are here to provide guidance and support for you and your child's well-being.
(1) Miller RI and Larren SK. Pediatrics. 2000 Feb; 105(2):E26. Long-term developmental outcomes in patients with deformational plagiocephaly.
(2) Kordestani RK et. al. Plastic Reconstruction Surgery. 2006 Jan; 117(1):207-18. Neurodevelopmental delays in children with deformational plagiocephaly.
(3) Kirby and Sugden. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. 2007; 100: 182-186. Children with developmental coordination disorders.
(4) Nicola Ann Douglas et. al. JOURNAL OF CLINICAL CHIROPRACTIC PEDIATRICS Volume 15, No. 3, December 2016. pp: 1274-9. Chiropractic care for the cervical spine as a treatment for plagiocephaly: a prospective cohort study.