Journal: Chiropractic Journal of Australia 2002;32(2):52-55
Authors: Davies NJ
Objective: The objective of this retrospective study was to compare the rate of resolution of non-stenotic deformational plagiocephaly (NDP) under chiropractic care against both the natural history and other interventional methods employing device-dependent therapy.
Design: This study retrospectively examines the clinical results produced by chiropractic management of 25 cases of NDP that were free of any sutural stenosis or other contributing medical conditions, including congenital torticollis and sternomastoid tumour.
Setting: Each case had been referred to a chiropractic paediatric centre with a request for management after the diagnosis was initially established by either a consultant paediatrician or maternal and child health nurse.
Patients/Participants: The patients for this study were drawn from a clinic population in a major metropolitan centre and a large regional centre. The mean age at entry into the clinic was 3.74 months. The male-to-female ratio was 5:10, and the occipitoparietal flattening was right-sided in 17 of the 25 cases. Intervention: Before commencement of chiropractic care, the diagnostic criteria for NDP were confirmed, the head circumference of each child was measured and plotted on an anthropometric chart standardised to an Australian population group, and then each child was assessed for the presence of subluxation complex affecting the spine and/or extremities. Chiropractic paediatric adjusting techniques were then administered and the child followed until resolution of the NDP occurred.
Main Outcome Measure: Resolution was deemed to have occurred only when all the criteria for establishing the diagnosis was no longer in evidence and there had been a minimum period of 4 weeks in which the subluxation complex was no longer demonstrable. Results: Under chiropractic care alone, all 25 of the patients reviewed achieved complete resolution. The mean time to full resolution was 3.64 months, and the mean number of adjustments given was 1.8.
Conclusion: The early implementation of chiropractic care for infants with deformational plagiocephaly may play a critical role in reducing the negative sequelae of NDP in the school-age population. Further controlled studies comparing clinical outcomes produced by chiropractic and device-dependent management are recommended.