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plagiocephaly
experiences please


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15 replies to this topic

#1 JoMarch

Posted 05 December 2012 - 08:00 AM

Hi all,

DS (4 months) has plagiocephaly & a trip to the GP yesterday has started the ball rolling for possible treatment.  The GP we saw has personal experience with it as both his babies needed helmets.

The next step (if we decide to go ahead) is to get X-Rays done then see a specialist for (possible) fitting of a corrective helmet.  

The thing is, I do *think* that it is getting better on its own (we work hard on head positioning etc), but then if it doesn't fully correct, I don't want to leave it too long to go ahead with treatment...

Has anyone else had experience with treatment or has their little ones plagiocephaly corrected on its own?  Should I get a second GP opinion first maybe?   DH just goes along with what I think (I'm the researcher LOL) so I feel like I need more info first.

Thanks.

Edited by **Lucy**, 05 December 2012 - 08:02 AM.


#2 tick

Posted 05 December 2012 - 08:10 AM

My 5 month old has torticollis without plagio but we see a paediatric physio for it ...... I would have thought this would be a great place to start before going straight into helmets as they are very experienced with the problems that cause plagio in the first place!  If you're in Melbourne, I can recommend a great paed physio clinic.

Some people also like to see Osteopaths or Chiropractors, I actually saw both a couple of times but wasn't so impressed so took it up a level with the physio.  Not cheap, but definitely has been worth it.

ETA: First person I saw about it was a paediatrician actually, who totally blew it off and said it would resolve on it's own in time.  Time passed and I got nervous so I took matters into my own hands!

Edited by tick, 05 December 2012 - 08:20 AM.


#3 JoMarch

Posted 05 December 2012 - 08:13 AM

Thank you!  I was a bit surprised that the GP suggested a corrective helmet first as well.  Maybe I will see another and ask for a referral to a paed physio.  Not in Melb, unfortunately.

#4 Agnodice the Feral

Posted 05 December 2012 - 08:19 AM

The GP is not saying your baby WILL get a helmet, he is just talking about his experience and suggesting that this may happen. The final decision is up to the specialist. Any specialist you see will work in conjunction with paed physios etc.

The referral is a good idea, go see the specialist, tell them what you've said here, and it may be that all you need is a bit of physio and monitoring.

Don't bother with another GP - it is much more likely that a specialist will know the best paed physios than a random GP.

#5 JoMarch

Posted 05 December 2012 - 08:26 AM

QUOTE (MsN @ 05/12/2012, 08:19 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The GP is not saying your baby WILL get a helmet, he is just talking about his experience and suggesting that this may happen. The final decision is up to the specialist. Any specialist you see will work in conjunction with paed physios etc.

The referral is a good idea, go see the specialist, tell them what you've said here, and it may be that all you need is a bit of physio and monitoring.

Don't bother with another GP - it is much more likely that a specialist will know the best paed physios than a random GP.


No, he didn't say that DS would definately need a helmet, I guess I was a bit surprised that he didn't suggest (or even talk about it as an option) physio first, but maybe this is just the order that the process is done (I have no idea, which is why I'm wanting to hear about others experiences).  You're definately right, the specialist will know where to go after the X-Rays.  Thank you MsN, great advice original.gif

#6 ShopgirlX

Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:37 AM

I'm seeing a chiro with my 9 week old who has plagio.  They sell special baby pillows that are meant to help keep the pressure off the flat spots, and are apparently SIDS safe, etc.  You can check out Mimos baby pillows.  Your practitioner may be aware of them, maybe not.  I haven't used one though, so can't really testify to their success.

I would definitely try seeing a paed physio or chiro/osteo before anything else.  And you usually don't need a GP referral.

The website for the Mimos pillows also has some suggestions about keeping the head off the flat spot that may be of some help.

(*NO I do not represent the company!)

#7 Loz07

Posted 05 December 2012 - 10:27 AM

Hi, as an ex-physio, I would think that unless your baby has severe plagio, conservative management with a physio etc should be your first step.

A specialist should work with a paed physio, but won't always...

You can see private paed physios without a referral, and this may actually be quicker than waiting for a specialist (and it certainly isn't going to hurt to do conservative treatment while waiting for a specialist review/ x rays). If you can't afford private, then you would need a referral to your closest hospital with a paeds department, and they could tell you over the phone if they take GP referrals or specialist only. There would likely be a wait for public treatment.

If you are looking for a physio, you can go to the australian physiotherapy association website and use the find a physio feature - it allows you to search for paed physios. Look for one who is a member of the paeds special interest group or has paeds qualifications.

In the meantime, extra tummy time, cuddles, time in a sling etc

Hope this helps

#8 ShopgirlX

Posted 05 December 2012 - 11:42 AM

Hi Loz07 - just out of interest, would a chiropractor be treating babies in a similar way to a physio?  As in, much of a muchness as far as who you get to treat your plagio?

Not questioning at all, genuinely interested as we've just made a foray into this area in which I am fairly 'narrowly' educated, so hoping I've made the right decision.


Edited for clarification!

Edited by shopgirl76, 05 December 2012 - 11:43 AM.


#9 JillyJellyBean

Posted 05 December 2012 - 11:50 AM

We went to a physio too, as the paed blew us off. It has to be pretty severe for a helmet to be used apparently. DS head still sint perfect (2.5 yrs) but has improved dramatically since he reduced his sleeping times!

#10 Loz07

Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:08 PM

Hi, I have never been to a chiro, so any bias I would have is purely professional, and I'm not familiar with what they would offer. I'm also not a paeds physio expert, so my knowledge of what they offer is from my uni days... But it should be along the lines of positioning, exercises, alternative activities/modifications (eg, napping upright in a sling) and possibly providing assistive products (eg, pillows or wedges)

I would also think it should be something you shouldn't need much 'treatment' for... An initial assessment and advice, then just a couple of follow ups to see how you are going and to monitor progress

#11 JoMarch

Posted 05 December 2012 - 01:07 PM

Thanks everyone, especially Loz07, great advice!

#12 Soontobegran

Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:08 PM

Two of my grandsons had quite prominent plagiocephaly, one of them resolved spontaneously as he became more mobile in his cot and the other saw a paediatrician who recommended an osteopath who said a helmut would most likely not be needed.
He was right as he is nearly 2 and his head is completely normal now.
The osteopath in conjunction with at home excercises, changing the end he slept in his cot and just time seemed to do the trick.

If you take some action early in the first year there is usually much more chance of a good result without needing a helmut...this of course depends on whether there is an underlying muscle or neck condition.

#13 becstar101

Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:17 PM

You may do well to contact your local community health service, they often have a paed physio on staff, and/or run a plagio clinic.

From what I've heard, more time in sling, raise pram into more of a sitting position, using a bumbo to reduce time lying with weight on the head etc are a good place to start.

Good luck!


#14 lucky 2

Posted 05 December 2012 - 07:01 PM

QUOTE
They sell special baby pillows that are meant to help keep the pressure off the flat spots, and are apparently SIDS safe, etc. You can check out Mimos baby pillows.

The SIDS organisation doesn't endorse any products at all so they are not SIDS safe, they are a type of pillow.
I think that they can be used when baby is awake, ie when on the change table or in the pram/bassinette, floor play etc.

#15 mill85

Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:45 AM

Tick- I would be interested in the contact details of th physio clinic. My dd has a bit of a flat area and s tending to look to one side. I want together onto it ASAP!

#16 Felix101

Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:02 PM

I have been seeing an osteo and a physio for DS's plagiocephaly (which is quite severe). The osteo has treated his neck/muscles to hhelp with a bit of torticollis, and head tilt. The physio has been monitoring it to decide if we need to go down the helmet path (they use this kind of plastic strap around his head that sets so we can measure the flatness).

Both have reiterated the need to keep him off his head as much as possible. So lots and lots and lots of tummy time - they get better at it the more you do it too (so much so that DS was a late roller it seems because he was simply happy on his tummy original.gif). DS is now sitting up and rolling and when sleeping is seldom on his back (I put him down on his ack but he rolls around), I also use the ergo carrier as much as possible when out rather than the pram - so between all this, we keep him of his head quite a lot (it's getting easier as he's getting older - he's 6.5 months).

By doing this over the last 3 months we have seen a huuuuge improvement. The helmets are pretty full on - they need to be on for at least 23hrs a day to have any effect (probably not the most comfortable thing over summer either), and involve a lot of back and forth from the specialists to get done. Obviously if that's what ur bub needs, then that's what they need, but I'd just be focussing on keeping bubs off that head when awake as best u can in the interim, as well as seeing physio/osteo/chiro/etc and hopefully you can see enough improvement. original.gif
Hope that helps




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