• Plagiocephaly is the medical term for a head shape that is flat on one area due to prolonged pressure on that part. Plagiocephaly happens because:

    • Newborns do not have hard head bones
    • Constant pressure can mould the head bones to be flatter at that place
    • Some babies are born with it, due to their position in the womb

    Plagiocephaly usually happens when babies sleep with their head always resting on the same part and ALSO spend a large part of the day with their head resting on that same part of their head.

    It is usually noticed when the baby is 2—3 months old. The best time to correct it is before the baby is 6 months old.

    Torticollis occurs when a muscle in one side of the neck is shorter or weaker than the one in the other side of the neck. This muscle is used to:

    • Bend the neck sideways (bringing the ear towards the shoulder)
    • Turn the head toward the other shoulder

    A baby with torticollis may:

    • Have a tight neck muscle on one side
    • Have a weak neck muscle on one side
    • Prefer to move or look to one side (possibly as a result of plagiocephaly)

    Physiotherapy & Torticollis and Plagiocephaly

    The physiotherapist will teach you ways to stretch and strengthen your baby’s neck muscles so your baby’s neck moves correctly. When started early enough, this is often enough to improve both plagiocephaly and torticollis. The physiotherapist will also show you:

    • How to use toys and activities to encourage your baby ro look and turn to the more difficult side
    • How to play with your baby to encourage the movement sand positions that are beneficial
    • How to carry your baby to provide more opportunities for neck stretching and strengthening

    The physiotherapist will show you how to encourage your baby to move their head so it is comfortable for them and not painful, this is to improve their neck movement so they can look both ways equally.

    Physiotherapy for plagiocephaly also entails tummy time in lots of different positions to encourage time off the back of their head. We will show you the positions of play most appropriate for your baby and then advise you on their frequency and duration.