As a dually board-certified physician who has spoken on the Whole Mother radio show multiple times, taking care of and helping enhance the quality of life of a new person is my passion!
Are you worried that your baby’s head is not shaped correctly? Are you worried about your infant with a flat head? Have you been looking up baby helmets for baby flat heads? Concerned about the cost of a Plagiocephaly helmet? Are you looking for another option to using a Doc Band helmet made by Cranial Technologies, Hanger Cranial Band, or STARband?
If so, let me tell you a story. On a beautiful spring morning, five months ago, two individual women had their first child in neighboring rooms at the same place. The two babies were very much alike. Both of them had no complications after a vaginal delivery, both had healthy 7.5 pound boys who were born minutes apart. Both were discharged within 48 hours – as most deliveries are – and the parents were filled with awe, hope, and dreams about how to give their child a better future. Six months later, these two women bumped into each other at a nearby coffee shop. The two kids were still very much alike.
Both were happily developing children, and…both also had lopsided heads. And both parents, it turned out, felt like failures for having children with baby flat head despite changing crib positions, tummy time, placement in the tub, and the typical pediatrician talking about helmets. Both shared the fear of family and strangers judging them. “What’s wrong with your baby?” “What did you do wrong?” What happened to him?” But there was a difference.
One of the children’s parents was choosing stickers to decorate her son’s helmet. The other found a rare and exclusive physician to reshape her son’s head with no embarrassing gear or the baby helmet cost. You’ve probably not heard of our type of medicine and that’s okay. There are less than 1200 of us across the country who’ve spent over 8 years training to become dually boarded with this specialty, and even fewer that focus on infants.
No, we are not chiropractors or physical therapists or doing infant massage. We aim to be your trusted physician and have the scientific literature to educate our fellow physicians, including your inquisitive pediatrician as to how we can help reshape infant flat heads without using a helmet.
YES, I’M READY TO END THIS FEAR ABOUT WHAT TO DO NEXT!Next section
What Does a Plagiocephaly Treatment Look Like?
Watch the video below to see.
Maybe you can relate to Ashley’s eloquent explanation of her journey to understand the D.O. difference (used with her permission – read the full article on her blog at http://naptimetales.com).
“We had a nice long talk with our pediatrician about helmets and doctors to see because that’s just the “typical” thing to do when your kid has a flat head. I was just wrapping my head around the fact that my son was going to wear a space helmet when the doctor was silent.
I could tell he was thinking and after a bit he said he knew a “magician” that, if we were open to the method, would be able to fix his head with no gear. Our baby’s doctor told us in so many words (and as gently as he possibly could) that my sweet son’s head would be squeezed back into shape with the “magician’s” bare hands.
Total. Voodoo. I didn’t think it would work and I thought it sounded insane. Buuuuuuut I really wanted to avoid a helmet. We agreed to see this head squeezing doctor so we could ask lots of questions and then go from there. I was feeling good about things after I did some at-home research on osteopathic manipulative therapy for babies (aka- head squeezing). It looked promising but I couldn’t find any REAL parents that had opinions about it.
I was fascinated that after just ONE session of manipulation I could see improvement in Jack’s head. ONE SESSION. It was magic.”
A newborn baby has a very soft and delicate skull made up of many bones that eventually join to form the adult skull. The flexible skull helps the baby to squeeze out head-first through the birth canal. As a result, it is normal for a newborn baby to have a pointy or long head, which eventually changes to the correct shape. Postural plagiocephaly is a condition where the baby has a lasting flat spot, on the back of the head or on one side.Next section
Is Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy For Babies Safe?
Yes! In May 2006, The American Journal of Pediatrics said:
“Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT), particularly Osteopathy in the Cranial Field, is safe, effective, and well-tolerated in treating postural plagiocephaly, torticollis, and many other clinical conditions in children… Those of us who use the osteopathic approach to medicine rarely need to refer our patients for physical therapy or orthotics.”
Watch the testimonial below to hear why my patients are elated, understand additional benefits of this type of therapy, and how affordable it can be.
Don’t just take my word for it.
“Words can’t express the wonderful care Dr. Banik gave my family. After the birth of our first daughter we struggled with feeding and spit-up problems as well as an abnormal shaped head from birth trauma. We took our infant to see Dr. Banik monthly for osteopathic treatments and soon noticed dramatic changes in the prior feeding and reflux problems. We also have seen a dramatic difference in the shape of her head – there is no longer a flat spot on the back of her head. We are so thankful for her wonderful treatment.” – L.G.Next section
Additional Benefits of Plagiocephaly Therapy
Aside from the aesthetic benefits of helping with plagiocephaly, studies have shown infants treated with osteopathic manual medicine (OMM) also experienced:
Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment for babies is a highly successful, hands-on, non-invasive way to diagnose and treat the body. Call our office today to book a FREE discovery session to answer questions you might have, and ensure we all feel comfortable moving forward. If you don’t like what we have to say, you can always decide to go down the helmet route instead.
Come and see why we have patients coming from all across the country to get treated. We also work in conjunction with the helmets, and parents have noticed their time in the helmet is less.
Don’t know where to start and whom to trust? Come learn from the Ultimate Guide To Plagiocephaly and Torticollis. It’s the most comprehensive guide available online, featuring more than 40 referenced, credible science articles. You can find it here.Next section
Causes of Postural Plagiocephaly
Postural plagiocephaly generally occurs when a baby sleeps in one position most of the time or as a result of a traumatic birth. It may sometimes occur before birth, when the mother’s womb is crowded because of twins, fibroids, not having enough amniotic fluid, etc. Plagiocephaly can also occur in premature babies or due to Torticollis.Next section
Symptoms include a flat area on the back or side of the head and scanty hair in that region. This condition may also affect other parts of the head, such as when one ear is positioned forward compared to the other ear. The opposite side of the head may be bulged and the neck, jaw and face may be uneven.Next section
Plagiocephaly is diagnosed based on a careful physical examination of your child’s head. X-rays or a CT scan may be ordered to rule out other conditions.Next section
Treatment for plagiocephaly depends on the cause, but generally includes a conservative approach.
If your child’s sleeping position is the cause of postural plagiocephaly, you will be advised to regularly change the position of your baby’s head, reduce the time your child lies on their back, and place the baby on their stomach when awake.
In most cases, the condition does not require surgery and responds very well to osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT). OMT is a natural way to correct the shape of the head without the use of a helmet.
Osteopathic manipulative treatment for babies is also a cranial helmet alternative, which helps avoid the additional costs and stresses associated with placing a helmet on your baby’s head. For a list of articles supporting osteopathic manipulative treatment for babies, please click here.Return to start
Osteopath treatment for Plagiocephaly
Frequently asked questions
OMT Helping Infants and Children Thrive
OMT can still benefit your child or infant, even if they aren’t experiencing any health issues or illness at the present time. Osteopathic manipulative treatments can include supportive therapy which can aid with your child’s growth and development. For example, OMT can help in supporting your child’s muscles and coordination as they learn to walk. It can also help in easing teething pain or growing pain that happen during growth spurts.
Our experienced team here at Osteopathic Healing Hands are dedicated to compassionate care for patients of all ages. For the very best in osteopathic pediatric care, or if you have any further questions, get in touch with one of our highly skilled team members. Give us a call on (713) 527-8499 to get started today.
OMT can Benefit a Number of Pediatric Conditions
While every patient is different, studies have shown newborn children treated with OMT experienced:
For a list of articles supporting OMT, please click here.
Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy for Babies
OMT can treat a huge range of pediatric conditions to relieve your baby such as discomfort and ongoing pain. These special treatments focus primarily on supporting and balancing your child’s nervous and musculoskeletal systems. The neuromuscular system plays a very important role in keeping the rest of your infant’s body systems in balance. Changes, abnormalities, or dysfunction of the musculoskeletal system can have a huge impact on other organs and systems of your baby’s body.
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