Plagiocephaly (Flat Head Syndrome) Treatment for Babies
in New York City

Plagiocephaly, also known as “flat head syndrome,” is a condition which causes a baby’s head to be misshapen or have a flat spot.  Plagiocephaly, like most conditions, has a spectrum of severity.  Some children have mild plagiocephaly while others can have severe cranial distortions.  This condition can occur due to congenital causes (present at birth) or develop throughout infancy from positional or deformational causes (babies spend around 700 hours on their backs not including baby containers such as car seats and strollers). Statistically, over half of babies to some measure experience one of the two forms of Plagiocephaly; Congenital or Positional. 

No two babies are alike, and that includes head shape.  Plagiocephaly only becomes a concern when there are gross asymmetries in the child’s head.   Head shapes of babies may vary depending on how a baby is born and the positions they are in during their first few months of life. Babies’ skulls are softer at birth so that they can shift and move through the birthing process as needed, and most babies’ heads will return to a round shape shortly after birth.   As babies get older, they may begin to develop a flat spot on the back or side of the head. Because young babies can’t move around or sit up yet, laying in one position at all times can create this flat spot on the skull.  

With any of these head shape deformities there is often also a facial asymmetry. You may notice things such as; difference in eye height and shape, difference in ear position, difference in fullness of cheeks and lips, difference in the shape of the corner of the mouth and nose,  a prominence of the forehead. Your baby may also prefer to lay in one direction or you may notice that they do not look both ways evenly and there is a restriction or hesitancy when moving their neck. Plagiocephaly can also compromise brain function, leading to an under-functioning of the central nervous system and therefore decreased performance throughout the body (Citation).

The correcting plagiocephaly requires an understanding of the cranium, the different skull fontanels start to naturally solidify and come together. At 1-3 months the posterior fontanel closes, the sphenoidal and mastoid fontanels (side of skull) close around 6 months and lastly the anterior fontanel closes around 12-18 months.

Alternative treatments such as Craniosacral Therapy and Chiropractic care are effective, and can both treat and significantly improve Plagiocephaly.  These treatments assess your babies spine and cranial dural system, looking for any imbalances that may be present. Chiropractic care and Craniosacral Therapy for babies is extremely gentle, involving little adjustments using light finger pressure, no more than would be used to check the ripeness of a fruit.  

A subluxation occurs when one or more of the bones of the skull and spine (vertebrae) move out of position and create pressure on, or irritate spinal nerves. Between each of the bones in your spine are spinal nerves. This pressure or irritation on the nerves then causes malfunction and interferes with the signals traveling over those nerves.  When a vertebra subluxates, there is decreased motion in that joint. The decreased motion in the spine reduces a baby’s range of motion. When a vertebra in the cervical spine subluxates, the entire neck and head are affected. Mindful of this, if a baby cannot move their neck freely due to a subluxation, the baby will keep their head in a certain position for extended periods of time, thus contributing to plagiocephaly.

Hence removing any subluxations in the head and spine through specific Craniosacral Therapy treatments and or Chiropractic Adjustments, the baby’s head is given a chance to realign misalignment and diminish Plagiocephaly.   Please reach us if we may be of help to you.

About Dr. Kaminsky & Craniosacral Therapy

Dr. Kaminsky is a 1999 graduate of the University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic. He is licensed to practice in NY and has completed close to three thousand hours of professional continuing education since becoming licensed in March of 2000.

The primary approach used in his office is Craniosacral Therapy (CST) which is a method focusing on the cranium (head) and sacrum (a large bone at the base of the spine) scientifically proven to control life sustaining fluid flow throughout the body.

Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle, non-invasive, hands-on manual therapy approach that brings about healing via the fluidity of the body. The existence of the Craniosacral System was first discovered by Osteopath Dr. William Sutherland in the early 1900’s, calling it Cranial Osteopathy.  And later rediscovered, validated, and developed by Dr. John Upledger in the late 70’s early 80’s, who renamed it Craniosacral Therapy after doing five years of research at the Michigan State University, School of Medicine. In 1983 Dr. John, as he was fondly called, established a teaching institute in Palm Beach, Florida, to teach this cranial sacral method to all healthcare providers. The Upledger Institute is still very active today.

The craniosacral mechanism pumps fluid which is produced in the brain, called cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF), through the fascial network of the body, the purpose of which is to lubricate joints, muscles, organs, all cells and all tissues. It is the driving life force for your body’s systems to function properly, CSF also carries healing properties to bodily traumas, injuries and past surgeries.

The proper function of your cranial sacral mechanism, via CSF flow, maintains the normal tone of your muscles, provide nutrients to your organs, and keeps you out of pain. It sustains human life and allows your nervous system to stay responsive to challenges of daily living and your mind-body life experiences. The better your craniosacral mechanism functions, the better the flow of this life sustaining fluid, the better your body can handle physical and emotional stress. The uninhibited flow of this fluid throughout your body allows you to thrive, opposite of survival mode.

CSF is part of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) brain and spinal cord), which is physically encapsulated within the dural membranes of the spine and head.

One of the functions inside of your brain is to automatically generate energetic rhythmic impulses that function to pump CSF throughout your body, regulating your peripheral nerves, nervous system and organ systems, which in turn, sustain your function (physiology) and life. It is an important force that maintains everything functioning in your body. This is what we call the Craniosacral System, or Craniosacral Mechanism. It is the hydraulic, energetic and rejuvenating system of your body.

This measurable life force of moving fluid is palpable to a trained craniosacral therapist, like the heart rhythm, pulse rhythm, breathing rate, that can all be felt, so too can the Cranial Sacral Rhythm (CSR) be palpated and measured. It is the foundational diagnostic tool in real-time used to evaluate your current state of well-being (or lack thereof), and potential for health improvement and healing.

Compromises of your rhythmic impulse, correlates to CSF flow restrictions in the system which the body is unable to self-correct or overcome on its own. This is the reason why over time we develop pain, dis-ease, symptoms, conditions, mind-body disconnect and basically all human physical and psychological ailments.

When the fluid isn’t flowing optimally, your bodily rejuvenation is affected, and this is where the skill of an experienced craniosacral therapist becomes valuable. By placing his or her hands on your body, most commonly on your head and sacrum, for diagnostic purposes, the practitioner can detect, feel, evaluate, and rate the SSQAR (strength, symmetry, quality, amplitude, rate) of the rhythm; then bring forth correction of any limitations with subsequent experienced hand placements on different parts the body during a session.

A craniosacral therapist helps your rhythm reset, restore and renew allowing for healing to take place of the mind-body connection, musculoskeletal tightness and spasms, neurological deficits, autoimmune issues, organ function, many common conditions, and of course pain. Through a practitioners properly focused and attuned touch, your body is facilitated to release channels of fluid stagnation and flow restriction, which ultimately breakthrough, overcome and improve CSR and the function of vital fluid flow.

Dr. Alex Kaminsky is an advanced practitioner of Craniosacral therapy, having studied up to advanced levels including SER and pediatric courses. He has built a solid foundation with many years of experience, treating babies, children and adults.

To learn more, visit the other pages on this website. Call to schedule your appointment with Dr. Kaminsky.