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Head Asymmetry (Plagiocephaly)



Plagiocephaly is also known as "flat head syndrome". 

Symptoms include:

  • The head is flattened on one side, causing it to look asymmetrical

  • The ears may be misaligned and the head looks like a parallelogram when seen from above

  • Sometimes the forehead and face may bulge a little on the flat side

A young baby's skull is still relatively soft and can change shape if there's constant pressure on a particular part of their head. Flat head syndrome happens due to


  • a longstanding one-sided pressure on the head of the infant in utero

  • when the baby sleeps in the same position most of the time after birth

  • problems with the neck muscles.


Occasionally but more rare, a flattened head can be caused by the plates of the skull joining together too early. This is known as craniosynostosis.

As most infants with plagiocephaly also have some degree of torticollis, Osteopathy, which is a very gentle manual treatment, and stretch exercises at home will be part of the recommended treatment.

Osteopaths Inès De Beer and Julia Santos have a lot of experience treating this disorder.

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