Newswise —  The Osteopathic Center for Children & Osteopathy's Promise to Children is now looking for infants 4 months old and younger diagnosed with plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome), which affects 47% of infants in the US. If left untreated, this can cause vision problems, muscular tightness, dental issues, & developmental delays. Qualified infants who enroll in this study will receive gentle, hands-on treatment known as Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT), which has been proven to address the underlying cause of plagiocephaly, reducing its impact on the child's development more than current treatments, such as helmet therapy.

"We use OMT to evaluate & treat the whole body, not just one area of concern. Parents who have brought their children for OMT have seen incredible results. Often when treating them for plagiocephaly, we also see improvement in other conditions such as feeding problems, colic, poor sleep, spitting up, and torticollis (tight neck muscles)," says Dr. Kimberly Wolf, DO, FAAP, FACOP, FAAPO who is one of the leaders in the field of pediatric osteopathic medicine. 

Parents or referring doctors can visit for more information.

About Plagiocephaly
Plagiocephaly, known as flat head syndrome, is a condition where an infant's head becomes flattened on one side. Torticollis is characterized by tight neck muscles, restricting an infant's ability to turn their head.

  • Plagiocephaly & torticollis diagnoses have risen nearly 600% since the launch of the Back to Sleep Campaign to reduce Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)/Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) in 1992.
  • It is estimated that ~47% of 3-month-olds may have plagiocephaly.
  • Currently, plagiocephaly management may involve repositioning or wearing a corrective helmet for several months, which mainly addresses the cosmetic aspect of plagiocephaly.

About OMT
Both published & anecdotal evidence support the success of OMT. A 2023 study in the Journal of Osteopathic Medicine shows that following OMT treatments, there was a statistically significant decrease in the measure of skull asymmetry & head flattening.

Additionally, the mom of a patient treated by Dr. Wolf shared, "My child had plagiocephaly as an infant. We were able to bypass having to use a helmet by taking him for OMT treatments & an amazing D.O. OMT is a WONDERFUL thing."

The Benefits of OMT:
- Administered by a physician.
- Non-invasive and gentle.
- Evaluates and treats the whole body, not just the head.

About the OPT-IN Study
The OPT-IN research study provides an alternative to helmet therapy. It hopes to show significant improvements in children receiving OMT compared to repositioning (at-home exercises) in children diagnosed with plagiocephaly.

How to Enroll in the Study
Healthcare providers in San Diego, CA, who have patients with plagiocephaly should refer families to OPT-IN for screening. Parents who are concerned about the shape of their child's head or whose child has plagiocephaly should contact OPT-IN for more information & to see if they qualify for the study. Children receive treatment in the study free of charge, and families will be compensated up to $550 for their participation.

About Us:
The Osteopathic Center for Children (OCC) aims to enhance children's well-being through holistic, patient-centered care and to promote osteopathic principles in pediatric medicine. Our mission includes research, education, & supporting physicians in providing osteopathic care to children & families.

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Journal Link: Journal of Osteopathic Medicine