A case study published in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health on April 24, 2014, documented the resolution of torticollis, plagiocephaly and breastfeeding problems in a baby who received chiropractic care.
Plagiocephaly is a flattening of a baby’s skull. This problem can lead to developmental issues as the child grows older. This can occur from the birth process itself, or can develop in the infant in the first few months. The study authors note that an increase in plagiocephaly has been reported since the “Back to Sleep” campaign was initiated by the American Academy of Pediatrics in an attempt to prevent sudden infant death syndrome.
Torticollis literally means “twisted neck” in Latin. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Medline Plus website, “Torticollis is a twisted neck in which the head is tipped to one side, while the chin is turned to the other.” The authors report that there are two types of torticollis including “Congenital Torticollis” and “Acquired Torticollis.”
In this case, an 8-month-old male baby was brought to the chiropractor with a diagnosis by his pediatrician of torticollis and plagiocephaly. The boy was one of twins, but his sibling did not share any of the same issues. At about the time of the baby’s two-month check-up, his mother noticed that her son’s back and right side of his head were a little mis-proportioned. She discussed this with the pediatrician, who decided to render no care at that time but rather follow him closely for the next couple of months.
At the six-month check-up, the mother told the pediatrician that she was having difficulty breast-feeding her son. The pediatrician noticed that there had not been much improvement in the asymmetry of the baby’s head. At this point, his mother decided to have him examined by a cranial specialist at the local children’s hospital. The result of that examination led to a diagnosis of plagiocephaly. The baby was fitted with a special helmet in an attempt to re-shape the head. The time of wearing the helmet was increased until he was wearing it 23 hours per day. No improvement was noticed, and the boy’s mother then sought chiropractic care.
A chiropractic examination was performed and showed many abnormalities in the positioning and movement of bones in the neck and skull. A determination was made that subluxations were present, and a specific form of chiropractic adjustments were begun on the neck and skull areas.
The study records that the boy’s mother saw immediate results following her son’s first adjustment. She was also able to nurse her baby without difficulty. By the second adjustment, his torticollis had been reduced by 75%, and his skull asymmetry was reduced by 25%. There was also an improvement in the baby’s neck motion as well as improvement in his head tilt. By his third visit, his torticollis was 100% resolved, and he no longer needed to wear his helmet.