Infant Head Shape Deformity Improved Under Chiropractic According to Study

What is Plagiocephaly? Can Austin Chiropractors Help Infants with Head Deformity?

A cohort study published in the December 2016 issue of the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics showed that chiropractic care helped reduce the time for correction of head shape deformity in infants. Head shape deformity, called plagiocephaly, is described in the study as  “…an asymmetry in the shape of the skull.”

Infant Head Shape Deformity Improved Under Chiropractic According to Study - Austin Texas Pediatrician Chiropractor Health Wellness Newborn Infant BabyEstimates as to how common plagiocephaly is vary from 16-21% at 6-7 weeks old, and 20% at 4 months old, to 47% of infants aged 7-12 weeks old. Most cases are first noticed by parents at various ages and may account for the variation of percentages. The cause of irregular head shape is thought to be external pressures on the skull before birth during development.

There is some disagreement between medical authorities as to whether or not plagiocephaly has an effect on the health and development of a child. The UK National Health Service (NHS) states plagiocephaly is cosmetic only, while other authorities suggest that this condition has been shown to be related to learning disabilities, dysfunctional auditory processing, and developmental delay in the gross motor and cognitive issues.

Chiropractic care for cases of plagiocephaly is focused on the neck and not rendered directly to the head. The study authors describe the purpose of care by saying, “chiropractors commonly manage infants with plagiocephaly and treat the cervical spine to achieve full range and freedom of motion so that the infant is not stuck in one position. If the head can be freely moved, then the pressure on the cranium will be equally distributed and the skull will, ideally, become symmetrical.”

The study was conducted at the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic (AECC) clinic, in Bournemouth, UK. In this study, 64 infants and babies with plagiocephaly were examined and measurements of their head shape were made. Most infants in this study were born at full-term with 56% being assisted births and 44% being natural vaginal deliveries. The breakdown showed that there were 62.5% males and 37.5% females. The average age was 11.5 weeks old with the range being from 2 to 44 weeks of age.

The chiropractic care given was in accordance with the standard protocol for children of this age at the school clinic. Head shape measurements were taken at the 1st, 4th and 7th chiropractic visit, with a six week follow up done later. All participants achieved a full range of neck motion from the chiropractic care. As expected, the size of the infant’s heads increased accounting for normal growth.

The results showed that the infants’ plagiocephaly measurement significantly reduced over the course of chiropractic care. Of the 64 infants and babies in the study, 20 showed a complete resolution of head deformation. The remainder of the babies all showed significant reductions of plagiocephaly above what would normally have occurred as the babies grew.

In their conclusion the authors wrote, “This study showed a significant reduction in head deformity in infants during a course of six weeks of chiropractic care.” They continued to explain that these results do not suggest a cause and effect relationship but rather a possible approach to helping plagiocephaly. They noted that chiropractic may have facilitated a faster correction of the normal head shape than would normally occur, saying “…the improvements in head shape occurred earlier than the natural course of the condition.”

If you or anyone you know could benefit from a better functioning nervous system, please call us at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson. We are located in north central Austin, TX.


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Infant Twins with Breastfeeding and Gastrointestinal Problems Helped with Chiropractic

Do Chiropractors See Infants and Newborns? Does Chiropractic Help with Acid Reflux, Irritability, Colic and Excessive Crying? What About Difficulties Breastfeeding?

The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study on February 10, 2015, documenting the improvement of infant twins with a variety of health issues being helped by chiropractic. The study showed that the infants had been suffering with chronic reflux, breastfeeding difficulties, irritability, excessive crying, plagiocephaly, and scaphocephaly.

Plagiocephaly and scaphocephaly are conditions in infants where the head is misshaped in various ways. This usually happens from complications during the birth process or from force during the delivery process. The study authors report that recent estimates say that, “…2.6% of births are complicated by some type of birth trauma. The resulting injuries are comprehensive (i.e. injuries to the nervous system, organs, etc) and of interest in this case report, injuries to the craniofacial region and spine resulting in plagiocephaly, facial asymmetry and altered functionality.”

Infant Twins with Breastfeeding and Gastrointestinal Problems Helped with Chiropractic | Austin TX ChiropractorThis case study reports on seven-month-old fraternal twin boys who were brought to the chiropractor by their mother. The baby boys were suffering from chronic acid reflux and difficulty feeding since birth. The history noted that at 33 weeks into the woman’s pregnancy, the amnionic membrane of one twin ruptured which resulted in an emergency Caesarean section. This premature birth resulted in both twins being in a special care unit for three weeks after birth.

The mother attempted to breastfeed the infants for the first three months but problems led to a change to formula by the fourth month. The infants reflux and irritability continued and medical attempts to help these problems were unsuccessful.

A chiropractic examination including a spinal analysis was performed on the infants to determine the need for chiropractic care. Based on the examination and the finding of subluxations, chiropractic care was begun with the approval of the twin’s mother.

After eight weeks of care, the mother reported that her twin’s reflux had decreased in severity and that her sons were much more settled and would feed much easier. After 16 weeks, the infants’ problems had resolved and it was noted that their head shapes had returned to near normal.

The authors commented in their summary, “Complaints associated with birth trauma including deformational plagiocephaly, breastfeeding difficulties and general irritability improved in seven month old twin boys while they were receiving chiropractic care.”

If you know of a child that could benefit from seeing a chiropractor, please call 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson.

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Fussy Baby with Abnormal Head Shape, Torticollis, and Sleeping Issues Helped by Chiropractic

What Is Plagiocephaly? Can Chiropractic Help Plagiocephaly? What About Torticollis?

In the November 2014 issue of the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics is a documented case study of a baby with multiple issues, including an irregular head shape, being helped with chiropractic. Abnormal head shape is known as plagiocephaly, and can come from the pressure of being on one side excessively.

The study authors report that plagiocephaly may have become more common since the introduction of the back to sleep program in 1992, where it was recommended that infants be put to sleep only lying on their backs. They also note that one study from Canada reports the incidence of plagiocephaly at 45.6% with  21.7% being a more severe form.

Fussy Baby with Abnormal Head Shape, Torticollis, and Sleeping Issues Helped by ChiropracticIn this case, a 6-month-old baby girl was brought to the chiropractor by her mother. The mother was concerned that her baby seemed to persistently favor turning her head to the left, and that her skull was deformed in shape. The baby had a pediatric check-up just three months earlier where everything checked out fine.  One week after that examination, the baby’s issues started. The baby was also experiencing difficulty in breast feeding and problems with sleeping.

The mother brought her baby to the chiropractor to try to avoid medical care for her head shape problem. Typically, medical intervention used in these cases is helmet therapy, which involves having a baby wear a helmet for a lengthy period of time. Other medical approaches include head repositioning, botox injections into the neck muscles, or even surgery in the more extreme treatments.

A pediatric chiropractic examination was performed where it was determined that the child had multiple subluxations in the neck. To correct these subluxations, specific light force adjustments were performed over the next several weeks. Advice was also given to the mother to entice the infant to turn her head toward the opposite side.

The study reports that immediately following the first adjustment, the chiropractor and mother noticed that the infant exhibited a more willing and active motion towards her less favored side of rotation.  By the second visit, the mother reported  that her baby girl now had regular sleep patterns and was not having any episodes of regurgitation or fussiness with breast feeding.  By the age of nine months, the infant had no cranial shape abnormality detectable, and all of her other problems had completely resolved.

In their conclusion, the authors of the study wrote, “The chiropractic care of newborns could potentially be a key component in addressing the integrity of an infant’s nervous system, in a safe and conservative way.”

To understand more of how chiropractic helps neurologically with child development, please read this informative health research report entitled Strengthening Your Child’s Immune System.

If you know of a child that could benefit from seeing a chiropractor, please call 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson.

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Resolution of Torticollis, Plagiocephaly & Breastfeeding Difficulties Following Chiropractic

Can Chiropractic Help Torticollis? Can Chiropractic Help Plagiocephaly? How Does Chiropractic Help Breastfeeding?

A case study published in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health on April 24, 2014, documented the resolution of torticollis, plagiocephaly and breastfeeding problems in a baby who received chiropractic care.

Plagiocephaly is a flattening of a baby’s skull. This problem can lead to developmental issues as the child grows older. This can occur from the birth process itself, or can develop in the infant in the first few months. The study authors note that an increase in plagiocephaly has been reported since the “Back to Sleep” campaign was initiated by the American Academy of Pediatrics in an attempt to prevent sudden infant death syndrome.

Resolution of Torticollis, Plagiocephaly & Breastfeeding Difficulties Following ChiropracticTorticollis literally means “twisted neck” in Latin. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Medline Plus website, “Torticollis is a twisted neck in which the head is tipped to one side, while the chin is turned to the other.”  The authors report that there are two types of torticollis including “Congenital Torticollis” and “Acquired Torticollis.”

In this case, an 8-month-old male baby was brought to the chiropractor with a diagnosis by his pediatrician of torticollis and plagiocephaly. The boy was one of twins, but his sibling did not share any of the same issues. At about the time of the baby’s two-month check-up, his mother noticed that her son’s back and right side of his head were a little mis-proportioned. She discussed this with the pediatrician, who decided to render no care at that time but rather follow him closely for the next couple of months.

At the six-month check-up, the mother told the pediatrician that she was having difficulty breast-feeding her son. The pediatrician noticed that there had not been much improvement in the asymmetry of the baby’s head. At this point, his mother decided to have him examined by a cranial specialist at the local children’s hospital. The result of that examination led to a diagnosis of plagiocephaly.  The baby was fitted with a special helmet in an attempt to re-shape the head. The time of wearing the helmet was increased until he was wearing it 23 hours per day. No improvement was noticed, and the boy’s mother then sought chiropractic care.

A chiropractic examination was performed and showed many abnormalities in the positioning and movement of bones in the neck and skull. A determination was made that subluxations were present, and a specific form of chiropractic adjustments were begun on the neck and skull areas.

The study records that the boy’s mother saw immediate results following her son’s first adjustment. She was also able to nurse her baby without difficulty. By the second adjustment, his torticollis had been reduced by 75%, and his skull asymmetry was reduced by 25%. There was also an improvement in the baby’s neck motion as well as improvement in his head tilt. By his third visit, his torticollis was 100% resolved, and he no longer needed to wear his helmet.

To see if chiropractic can help your infant with neurological development or to have your entire family checked for the presence of vertebral subluxation, call (512) 452-2525 to schedule today.

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