Plagiocephaly Brachycephaly and Scaphocephaly

Partners in Physical Therapy in Lake Charles, LA provides therapy services for a variety of pediatric conditions, including plagiocephaly, brachycephaly, and scaphocephaly.

These three conditions are often referred to as “flat head syndrome” and occur when infants lie in one position for too long, due to the fact that the skulls of newborn babies are soft and malleable, and the bone has not hardened yet.

Treatment is available for these conditions, and Partners in Physical Therapy also provides education for caregivers as well. Contact our clinic to learn more about these conditions as well as therapeutic treatment and prevention.

What are plagiocephaly, brachycephaly, and scaphocephaly?

ChoosePT addresses these three conditions by explaining, “skull deformations like plagiocephaly, brachycephaly, and scaphocephaly may affect up to 45% of newborn babies.The skull flattening can occur in the womb due to the baby being stuck in one position or having limited space when there are multiple fetuses, such as twins or triplets. More severe head-shape deformities are linked to developmental problems, such as movement, vision, hearing, and behavior that may last a lifetime.”

These conditions do not cause pain, however, they may cause hearing and vision impairments. They may also be identified by the presence of torticollis or facial asymmetry.

Plagiocephaly is defined as “the flattening of the side of the back of the skull caused by a baby lying for too long on its back with the head turned slightly to the side.” 

Brachycephaly is defined as “the flattening of the back of the skull, caused by the baby lying on its back for too long. It is the second most common skull deformation.

Scaphocephaly is defined as “the flattening of the side of the skull, causing an elongated skull. This is caused by the baby lying on its side for too long and commonly happens in the neonatal intensive care unit, as premature babies are positioned on their side for ease of treatment.”

How can therapy help?

Physical therapy for any of these conditions should be started early, preferably before a baby is 3 months old, however therapy can also benefit older children as well.

Partners in Physical Therapy therapists can help improve a child’s strength levels and range of motion, as well as restore abnormal skull shapes through repositioning therapy. This is something also referred to as “tummy time,” and you can be taught how to do it at home. It helps to aid in developing more normal ways to move, and encourages them to not rest their head on the flattened area.

A Lake Charles, LA pediatric therapist can also educate you about the causes of plagiocephaly, brachycephaly, and scaphocephaly for future situations, and teach you preventative measures you can take.

They may also test your child for future developmental delays, such as sensory problems, delayed muscle movement, and delayed cognitive development.

Depending on your child’s condition, pediatric therapy at Partners in Physical Therapy may include the use of a helmet, which your child may need to wear on schedule to encourage a normal skull shape.

Call us today

If you believe your child’s skull shape is not what it’s supposed to be, or if they’ve been diagnosed with plagiocephaly, brachycephaly, or scaphocephaly, call our clinic today to make a consultation. Your child’s condition will be thoroughly evaluated and a plan of care will be created for their comfort and success.