Flat Head (Plaigocephaly)
Information for Families – Plaigocephaly (Flattened Head)
The aim of this leaflet is to answer some of the questions that you may have about Plaigocephaly and it’s treatment. You will also have the opportunity to discuss further concerns with us in clinic.
What is it and what is the cause?
Plaigocephaly is a common condition, which presents with flattening of the back or sides of a baby’s head. The skull is made from multiple bones, which are soft at birth. Their shape can be affected by pressure from outside. This pressure can be from inside the womb if things are a bit squashed, or from the position of the head whilst sleeping after birth.
How is the condition diagnosed?
Plaigocephaly is usually diagnosed from a physical examination. Additional tests such as x rays or scans are not really required.
What is the effect of this condition?
Despite the shape of the skull bones, there is no additional pressure on the brain. Therefore the child experiences no symptoms and suffers no negative effects on their learning or development. Some children can have associated stiffness in their neck muscles and a head that is turned to the side.
What is the natural progression of this condition?
As a child grows, their bones go through different stages of development. The vast majority of children grow out of this condition as the bones mature. The skull bones harden and join together with age taking a normal more rounded shape.
How can it be treated?
In the vast majority of cases no specific treatment is required as the skull bones remould as the baby’s head develops. However, there are simple physiotherapy exercises and general advice that can help speed up this natural process.
NHS Choices at www.nhs.uk/conditions/plagiocephaly