There are many different opinions on how to treat the plagiocephaly, a condition that results in deformation of the baby's skull due to pressure on one side of the head.
This can happen when the baby is in the womb, or during birth. Physical therapy is often considered one of the most effective treatments, but does it really work?
In this article, we are going to take a closer look at physical therapy and whether or not it is an effective treatment for depression. plagiocephaly.
Definition of plagiocephaly
La plagiocephaly can be defined as a deformity of the infant's head, characterized by visible flattening on the side and/or back of the head.
plagiocephaly is usually caused by external forces acting on the baby's skull during development, such as positioning in the womb (the plagiocephaly can also be caused by conditions that limit fetal movement, such as torticollis), or the pressure exerted on the back of the head by prolonged periods of lying on your back (plagiocephaly positional).
Although the plagiocephaly can occur in any group of infants, it is more common in twins and higher order multiple pregnancies, and in infants born prematurely.
There are two main types of plagiocephaly : the plagiocephaly positional and the plagiocephaly distorting. The plagiocephaly positional is the flattening that occurs when babies spend too much time in one position (usually on their backs); it is often seen in healthy, normally developing infants.
La plagiocephaly deforming is due to external forces that act on the baby's skull and cause it to change shape. It can be an intrauterine constraint (like the position in the uterus) or a cranial asymmetry
Treatments for plagiocephaly
A number of different treatments have been proposed for plagiocephalyIncluding:
- Cranial reshaping orthoses (“helmet therapy”) : This is the most common treatment for plagiocephaly. A brace is a custom-made helmet that the infant wears for a period of time (usually 4 to 6 months). The helmet puts light pressure on areas of the skull that are flattened, and over time this pressure helps mold the shape of the skull into a more normal configuration.
- Manual therapies : Manual therapies such as chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation have also been proposed as a treatment for plagiocephaly. These therapies are based on the principle that correcting the alignment and position of the spine and skull will reduce pressure on flattened areas of the skull and allow them to return to a more normal shape.
- surgery : In severe cases of plagiocephaly, surgery may be considered. It is usually only performed if the deformity significantly affects eye or ear function, or if cranial reshaping braces and other conservative treatments have failed.
- Kinésithérapie : Physical therapy may be recommended to improve neck range of motion and reduce neck and shoulder muscle tension. This may help prevent further flattening of the skull and may also help the infant turn the head more easily, which may help in the prevention and treatment of plagiocephaly.
Physiotherapy in the treatment of plagiocephaly
There is growing evidence that physiotherapy can be an effective treatment for plagiocephaly. A number of studies have shown that babies who receive physical therapy have a significantly increased ability to turn their heads, which may help prevent and treat plagiocephaly.
In addition, physical therapy can help improve range of motion in the neck and reduce tension in neck and shoulder muscles. This can help prevent further flattening of the skull and help the infant turn the head more easily, which can help prevent and treat plagiocephaly.
Modalities used in physiotherapy
There are a number of different modalities that can be used in physical therapy to treat plagiocephalyIncluding:
- The massage: Massage can help relax neck and shoulder muscles, which can help reduce pressure on flattened areas of the skull. It can also help improve circulation and promote healing.
- Craniosacral therapy : Craniosacral therapy is a gentle, hands-on approach that involves palpation of the skull and spine. It is based on the principle that correcting the alignment of the skull and spine reduces pressure on flattened areas of the skull and allows them to return to a more normal shape.
- Myofascial release: Myofascial release is a type of massage that focuses on releasing tension in the connective tissue that surrounds the muscles. This can help reduce pressure on flattened areas of the skull and allow them to return to a more normal shape.
- Physiotherapy exercises: Physical therapy exercises can help improve neck range of motion and reduce tension in neck and shoulder muscles. These exercises can help prevent further flattening of the skull and can also help the infant turn the head more easily, which can help prevent and treat plagiocephaly.
Physiotherapy or osteo?
With regard to the treatment of plagiocephaly, there are two main options: physiotherapy and osteopathy. Both have been shown to be effective in treating the disease, but they work in different ways.
Physical therapy uses a combination of exercise and massage to improve range of motion in the neck and release tension in the muscles. Osteopathy, on the other hand, focuses on realigning the bones and joints of the head and neck.
As a result, she is often successful in treating cranial asymmetry, which can be a contributing factor to plagiocephaly. Ultimately, the choice of treatment depends on each case and should be made in consultation with a healthcare professional.
Medical experts have long debated the effectiveness of physiotherapy in the treatment of plagiocephaly, with some claiming it is an effective treatment and others arguing that it is ineffective.
However, a recent study provides scientific evidence that physiotherapy can indeed be an effective treatment for plagiocephaly.
The study, which was conducted by researchers at the University of York, showed that physiotherapy was associated with a significant reduction in the severity of plagiocephaly.
Additionally, the study showed that physiotherapy was most effective when started early, before six months of age. These results suggest that physiotherapy should be considered as a potential treatment for plagiocephaly.
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