Muskegon, MI

945. E. Sherman Blvd.
P. 231.737.4374

Grand Rapids, MI

4095 Park East Court SE
P: 616.259.4028

Grand Haven, MI

16760 Lincoln Street
P: 616.935.3300

NOCHS, Grand Haven, MI

1015 S. Beacon Blvd.
P: 616.847.5293

What is it with those baby helmets?

What is it with those baby helmets?

Most people know a niece/nephew, grandchild or friend’s child who has worn these cute helmets for some amount of time, but why are they wearing it?

These helmets are called Cranial Remolding Orthoses and are often used when a child has developed significant head flattening (typically in a back quadrant of the head, called plagiocephaly), to the degree that they may need help directing the growth of the head to ensure symmetry of the cranium, ears, eye sockets, and jaw. 

Research suggests that there is a 90% prevalence of craniofacial (in other terms: head and face) asymmetry in children who also have neck tightness (called Congenital muscular torticollis, or CMT). This means that children with flat heads usually have neck tightness and vice versa. So what do we do?

Before the cute-but-not-so-convenient helmets are necessary, we can address head and face asymmetries by working on positioning the infant, teaching them to move their head/neck in different ways, decreasing muscle tightness in the neck, and addressing cranial movement. The latter objective can be addressed by craniosacral therapy, which aims to release restrictions in the nervous system by gently mobilizing its connections on the cranium and spine. Basically: bones move, infant’s bones move a lot, so we can help them move more in the right direction! 

Here at GRPC, we can help your infant to move and develop with symmetry!

Note: Research is admittedly lacking for craniosacral therapy in infants with head flatness/neck tightness, but has shown success in randomized controlled trials to improve infantile colic.

Cheng JC, Tang SP, Chen TM, Wong MW, Wong EM. The clinical presentation and outcome of treatment of congenital muscular torticollis in infants—a study of 1,086 cases. J Pediatr Surg. 2000;35(7):1091- 1096. 
Castejón-Castejón, M., Murcia-González, M. A., Gil, J. M., Todri, J., Rancel, M. S., Lena, O., & Chillón-Martínez, R. (2019). Effectiveness of craniosacral therapy in the treatment of infantile colic. A randomized controlled trial. Complementary therapies in medicine47, 102164.