Beyond the Helmet: Treatment Options for Plagiocephaly


Beyond the Helmet: Treatment Options for Plagiocephaly

As a parent, discovering that your baby has plagiocephaly, or flat head syndrome, can be concerning. While helmets are a common treatment option, there are also other methods that can help improve your child’s condition. In this article, we will explore some alternative treatments for plagiocephaly beyond the traditional helmet therapy.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can be a valuable tool in treating plagiocephaly. Specific exercises and stretches can help improve your baby’s head shape and promote proper neck movement. A physical therapist experienced in pediatric care can create a customized treatment plan for your child, addressing any underlying muscle tightness or weakness that may be contributing to the flat spot.

Repositioning Techniques

Simple repositioning techniques, such as tummy time and changing the direction in which your baby sleeps, can also help prevent further flattening of the head. Encouraging your baby to spend time on their tummy while awake under supervision can relieve pressure on the back of the head and promote muscle development. Additionally, alternating the direction in which your baby sleeps can help distribute the weight on their head more evenly.

Cranial-Sacral Therapy

Cranial-Sacral therapy is a gentle, non-invasive treatment option that focuses on the bones of the head, spinal column, and sacrum. This hands-on therapy aims to release tension and improve the function of the central nervous system. Many parents have reported positive results from cranial-sacral therapy in treating their child’s plagiocephaly.

Helmet Therapy

While helmets are a traditional treatment for plagiocephaly, they are not the only option. Helmet therapy, also known as cranial orthosis, involves the use of a custom-made helmet to gently reshape the baby’s skull over time. It is important to consult with a pediatrician or a specialist to determine if helmet therapy is the best course of action for your child.


Facing a plagiocephaly diagnosis can be overwhelming for parents, but it’s important to remember that there are treatment options available beyond the traditional helmet therapy. Whether it’s through physical therapy, repositioning techniques, cranial-sacral therapy, or helmet therapy, there are ways to improve your child’s condition. Consult with your pediatrician to explore the best course of treatment for your little one.


What causes plagiocephaly?

Plagiocephaly can be caused by factors such as spending too much time in one position, muscle tightness, or premature birth.

At what age should treatment for plagiocephaly begin?

Treatment for plagiocephaly is most effective when started between the ages of 3 to 6 months, but it can still be beneficial up to 12 months of age.

Are there any long-term effects of plagiocephaly?

In most cases, plagiocephaly does not cause any long-term health issues. However, addressing the condition early can prevent potential developmental delays.