Acta Scientific Paediatrics (ISSN: 2581-883X)

Review Article Volume 4 Issue 2

The Role of Brainstem Sensitization in the Pathophysiology of Deformational Plagiocephaly

Rene J Zweedijk*

Member of the Dutch Osteopathic Association, Director of Pro-Osteo, Responsible for the Osteopathic Pediatric Education Netherlands, The Netherlands

*Corresponding Author: Rene J Zweedijk, Member of the Dutch Osteopathic Association, Director of Pro-Osteo, Responsible for the Osteopathic Pediatric Education Netherlands, The Netherlands.

Received: January 21, 2021; Published: January 29, 2021



Deformational Plagiocephaly (DP) is a common clinical presentation. There is no consensus as to the aetiology of DP, there is no risk factor that is uniformly considered as dominant. The consensus about the pathogenetic factors that are important in the onset of DP is more robust. Most cases are presented with no skull deformity at birth and most problems seem to appear at the age of two months. This implies that postnatal factors have an influence on the onset of DP. Prolonged back-laying position in combination with a restriction in motion of the upper neck area are generally considered as important factors in the onset of DP. The restriction in motion can be caused by muscular and neurological reasons. The purpose of this article is to present an aetiology model as to the neurological aspects that may be causing plagiocephaly and how osteopathy may potentially influence the amelioration of plagiocephaly. Sensitization of the upper neck and brainstem may be caused by intrauterine positioning, traumatic birth processes or prolonged pressure on specific areas of the skull. This sensitization will increase sensitivity of touch-, pressure- and pain-fibers, muscle tone, impair muscle function and enhance postural and birth survival reflexes. The postural reflexes, in combination with impaired muscle function and the prolonged supine positioning of the infant, play a crucial role in the progress of some types of Deformational Plagiocephaly (DP). These neurological considerations should be analyzed and treated by osteopaths and allied professions when faced with DP.

Keywords: Deformational Plagiocephaly; Brainstem; Aetiology



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Citation: Rene J Zweedijk. “The Role of Brainstem Sensitization in the Pathophysiology of Deformational Plagiocephaly".Acta Scientific Paediatrics 4.2 (2021): 57-65.


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