Sydney Chiropractor Dr. Rachael Veronesi highlights the fact that the prevalence of plagiocephaly is on the increase in Australia. This condition results in cranial asymmetry (or misshapen head), and is caused by mechanical forces that exert pressure on the skull of a rapidly growing baby.
As Dr. Veronesi points out, “Many parents think of this as a cosmetic problem and whether or not they make a decision to seek treatment often relies on the severity of the appearance of the defect. However, scientific research is now highlighting that this might be much more serious than something that affects a child’s appearance alone.”
More and more information is becoming available about the potential for a number of functional problems that can affect correct motor and cognitive development as well as problems with the ears, eyes and jaw.
As a result, more parents are becoming concerned about the long-term effects on their child and seeking ways to improve their child’s situation. If you are concerned about plagiocephaly and its effects on your own child, please call NeuroBalance Chiropractic today on 02 9938 5456. We will be able to advise you on the best course of action for your child.
Signs of Plagiocephaly
Babies with plagiocephaly often dislike tummy time, and will frequently sleep with their head turned to one side. It can also be associated with difficulties in feeding and sleeping. Parents are often frustrated and exhausted from sleepless nights and the difficulties in settling their little ones.
Problems Associated With Plagiocephaly
- Developmental Delay: A number of published studies suggest a link between motor and cognitive function delays in infants affected by plagiocephaly. Screening for any delays in reaching normal developmental milestones can help to identify where additional interventions might be appropriate.
- Visual Field Defects: Both asymmetries and constrictions have been identified in infants with this condition. The severity of the defects appears to have a direct relation to the degree of cranial asymmetry.
- Otitis Media: Changes to the cranial anatomy caused by the condition can lead to increased frequency of ear infections. An infant is more prone to middle ear infections because of their shorter, wider, more horizontal Eustachian tubes. In normal development, a child becomes less prone to this type of ear infection as he grows because the Eustachian tubes gradually move from a horizontal, to a vertical aspect.
- Auditory Processing Dysfunction: Authors of a study into ERPs, (Event Related Potentials), a method of measuring neural information processing speeds, concluded that affected infants appeared to be at a higher risk of auditory processing disorders that could persist after reaching school age.
Can Chiropractic Help?
Parents of children affected by plagiocephaly are understandably concerned about the potential effects on the child’s appearance and problems that might affect cognitive and functional development.
In our practice we do see children suffering from plagiocephaly. Unfortunately at this stage the scientific research to validate chiropractic care for plagiocephaly has not been done so we are unable to claim that we can help this condition.
At the same time there is no research saying that chiropractic care is not effective. However what is known is that the incidence of reported adverse reactions to chiropractic care is low.
Rachael Veronesi will normally provide advice on gentle exercises, head repositioning, and other suggestions for things that can be done at home that will really help. Please call today on 02 9938 5456 for more information.