A clinical research study demonstrated that Chiropractic may restore normal head shape to infants (4). In fact there was an average 33% decrease in difference side to side (see chart below reprinted from publication) (4). Overall, 20 out of the 64 participants showed a full resolution of head deformation with a measurement difference below 0.4cm. (4)
Will Chiropractic Resolve Your Child’s Misshapen Head? There is no guarantee. The above study gives some hope that there’s a chance chiropractic may help your baby.
How does a baby’s head get misshapen?
Spinal tension can cause your child to favour looking toward one direction. This leads to a particular spot of their soft skull to frequently be in contact with the surface they are laying on creating a change in the shape and position of the skull bones – appearing as a flat spot and uneven ears when looking from above (see diagram). The proper name for this problem is deformational plagiocephaly.
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You will learn in this blog post that there is an association between a child’s head shape, body movement coordination, and learning potential. There is no need to be alarmed if your child has a misshapen head. However recent medical research recommends that if your child has a flat spot on their head it may be advisable to have them assessed to ensure their neuromuscular development is not delayed. (1)
Primary Goal of chiropractic in the case of plagiocephaly is to restore normal spinal function. Doing so may allow the child to no longer favour looking to one side and therefore as the head continues to grow, it may fill out normally.
Note, that depending on your infant’s age the extent of head shape improvement will vary. The odds of success are much greater when the age is below 6months; however we have seen some improvement beyond this age.
If you have more questions or concerns feel free to contact our office and speak to one of our chiropractors.
- Miller RI and Larren SK. Pediatrics. 2000 Feb; 105(2):E26. Long-term developmental outcomes in patients with deformational plagiocephaly.
- Kordestani RK et. al. Plastic Reconstruction Surgery. 2006 Jan; 117(1):207-18. Neurodevelopmantal delays in children with deformational plagiocephaly.
- Kirby and Sugden. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. 2007; 100: 182-186. Children with developmental coordination disorders.
- 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.