Because infants are born with a soft skull, they can become vulnerable to developing plagiocephaly. Also called "deformational plagiocephaly", this condition is commonly referred to as "flat head syndrome". Plagiocephaly is a condition where an infant's head has an uneven or irregular shape caused by external factors. For some infants, plagiocephaly happens while in utero, caused by pressure on the skull. Infant plagiocephaly can also be caused by lying in the same position for too long, placing pressure on the skull causing a flat area on the back of the head.
In some cases, plagiocephaly will correct itself. But, if an infant naturally rests their head on a flattened area, the condition can worsen causing additional issues. Because we cannot predict whether or not this condition will correct itself, working closely with the team of trained professionals at Sovereign Rehabilitation is important to ensure your infant is getting the best care possible. Treatment includes repositional therapy where special exercises are used on the infant on a regular basis both with physical therapists and at home. Other treatment options are orthotic therapy, where a custom-fit helmet is used to assist with changing the head shape. Depending on your baby's specific needs, our caring and professional physical therapists will work with you and your infant to develop the best care plan possible.
Causes of Flat Head Syndrome
Flat head syndrome can also be associated with another condition called torticollis. The professional team of highly trained physical therapists at Sovereign Rehabilitation is dedicated to helping your infant with the necessary treatment options to help relieve symptoms of deformational plagiocephaly. Other causes of flat head syndrome can include:
- Womb position: for infants who remain in one position in utero can be at risk for plagiocephaly
- Multiple births: limited space with multiples can cause plagiocephaly
- Premature birth: making them more susceptible to flat head syndrome
- Torticollis: with this condition, babies have limited mobility causing their head to be in one position
- Back-sleeping: while back-sleeping is recommended to reduce the risk of SIDS, frequent rotating of the head and supervised tummy-time can reduce your infants susceptibility to flat head syndrome
Contact Sovereign Rehabilitation today to schedule a consulting about Plagiocephaly.