A study in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, published on March 1, 2021, documented the case of an infant with plagiocephaly who could not tolerate tummy-time being helped with chiropractic.
The study begins by stating, “Plagiocephaly refers to a deformation of the skull, resulting in flattening of the cranial bones and asymmetry within the cranial vault.” Although some serious neurological issues can occur, plagiocephaly is normally regarded as only cosmetic and should self-correct over time.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has been promoting having children sleep on their back in an attempt to reduce the incidence of Sudden Infant Death (SIDs). However, this study noted that infants sleeping on their backs could give rise to flattening of the skull. Since the push to have infants sleep on their backs, there has been a 40% reduction in the incidence of SIDs, but a 600% increase in plagiocephaly.
In this case, a 4-month-old infant girl was brought by her mother to the chiropractor. It was noted that the infant girl’s head showed a flattening on one side. The infant had a limited range of neck motion and had tight neck muscles. The infant was fussy during the examination process. Using chiropractic procedures and palpation, it was determined that the infant had multiple subluxations present in her spine.
Age-appropriate specific chiropractic adjustments were performed to address the subluxations that were determined to be present. The day after the first adjustment, the infant girl’s mother reported that her daughter had a better range of movement of her neck and an increase in tolerance for tummy-time. She could also prop herself up and hold her head upward, which she was unable to do before chiropractic. Additionally, the girl was now able to roll from her belly to her back. The infant’s head was also measured routinely, and it was noted that the shape of her head had visibly improved.
In the conclusion of this study, it was explained how subluxations in the neck could cause a reduction of neck motion leading to the infant keeping her head in one position which resulted in a head deformity know as plagiocephaly. “Vertebral subluxation can lead to a sequela of comorbidities, in this case restriction of cervical extension compounded by continuous supine positioning, resulting in deformational plagiocephaly. Chiropractic adjustments are safe and effective in correcting subluxation.”