What is Plagiocephaly?Plagiocephaly

Plagiocephaly is a term to describe flattening on one side of the skull. It is most common in infants but can also occur later in life, especially after an injury when a person is bedridden.

What causes Plagiocephaly?

Plagiocephaly often starts in-utero and is a result of restriction of space. However, it can also be caused after birth if a child has a preference to look to one side caused by torticollis, or tight neck muscles. Plagiocephaly and torticollis are often linked and many babies with plagiocephaly have torticollis, or tightness on one side of their neck.

How do I know if my child has Plagiocephaly?

Diagnosis of plagiocephaly is based on physical examination and medical history. A physician will evaluate symmetry on both sides of the skull. If one side is more flat than the other and is affecting alignment of the facial bones and skull formation, a diagnosis of plagiocephaly is made.

How can I help treat my child’s condition?

Treatment for plagiocephaly is dependent on the age of the child and the severity of the condition. A head shaping orthosis, with a similar look to a helmet, can be prescribed by a physician to treat the condition. Generally, these head shaping helmets are very light, only about 5 ounces, so the baby does not even know that they are on. The head shaping helmets are worn for, on average, 12 weeks and results are very good. If the child also has related torticollis, physical therapy is necessary to help balance both muscles on either side of the neck. By treating torticollis, often times the baby will be able to look both directions evenly and the head will round out on its own.

Our approach at North Shore Pediatric Therapy

At North Shore Pediatric Therapy, we use stretching and strengthening techniques to help balance the muscles in the neck so a child will be able to look both directions equally. Over time, therapy will help a child’s head round out properly as they will not be spending as much time on the flat spot on their head. If necessary, it will be recommended that a head shaping orthosis be made to correct the plagiocephaly. A specific treatment plan will be followed with timely goals and plans of action to help your child be the best they can be. A home exercise program will also be taught to the parents and/or caregivers so proper follow-through can be completed at home.

Client Reviews (5)

My daughter who is now 1.5 years old and she started physical therapy when she was 6 months old and was discharged at 1 years old. We was reevaluated and needed therapy a few months later, and that’s when we met Marcy. She was very professional and compassionate towards my daughter. In the beginning hannah was very fearful of leaving my hands and had many meltdowns, a few weeks later hannah was eagerly jumping into Marcy hands. It only took a few months for hannah to come walking out to me in the office and it was a dream! Hannah is now meeting with devorah for speech and she’s absolutely great with it. I’ve recommend this place to friends and neighbors because hoe fantastic the staff and services are. Very highly impressed!


Our daughter saw Sarah Friedman in Glenview (now in Lincolnwood) for gross motor delay. Through our time with Sarah, she made tremendous progress. Sarah worked hard to keep our baby happy during sessions and cheered with us when she did her first roll and her first independent sitting session. We are so grateful for Sarah’s expertise and encouraging support. We still email her with questions and she happily responds. We highly recommend Sarah and the PT at NSPT!

Matt Galin

Flexible, professional and always encouraging our daughter to reach to levels at all times. Updated information on performance reviews and adjustments to therapy goals.


My son (now 4) has only been receiving physical therapy at North Shore Pediatric Therapy for about a month, but already we are seeing so much progress. My son took to his therapist immediately and so he views his sessions as a highlight of his week; his time to play with Miss Sarah is always a joy. He had trouble hopping, balancing, etc… and now he is gaining so much more strength and confidence in his own abilities. My son also has Type 1 Diabetes and I always know he is in good hands as Sarah is well versed in diabetes care and always asks about his blood sugar before his sessions. Thank you!

Jennifer N

Andrea is a wonderful Physical Therapist! Her work with our son is always engaging and fun for him. She is always very helpful with things we can do at home to help him improve and the exercises she does with him, he thinks are games, so he is more willing to do them more often. I’m so glad she is working with him, it is easy to see the improvements over a short period of time!