My daughter has plagiocephaly and is being treated with a DOC band. We were never diagnosed with Tortocollis by our pediatrician. We just finished our first DOC band and didn’t see good results so we are getting a second one. Do you think PT will help? She didn’t roll until 7 months and isn’t walking yet at 14 months. Can you please show us PT exercises and work with us to help her? Thanks, Jennifer
Hi Jennifer. It sounds like you are not sure if your daughter has torticollis. Perhaps the orthotist that worked with you for the DOC Band mentioned it. In any case I would look for a pediatric physical therapist in your location that can assess for torticollis which is a head tilt toward one side usually due to tightness in muscles on that side but may also be contributed too by weaker muscles on the other side of the neck. Since the stretching/strengthening program is dependent on which of these factors are contributing you will need to have at least one visit with a physical therapist to make that determination. Once you have done that the therapist will give you a home exercise program that is tailored to your baby’s needs.
Fourteen months may or may not be a delay for walking depending on whether your baby is standing without supports, walking with one hand held, stepping sideways holding onto furniture, smoothly lowering to the floor through squatting and trying to take a step or two on her own. Again a pediatric physical therapist can help you strategize how to get her to move in that direction.
As for the DOC Band, it is a proven Plagiocephaly treatment for babies ages 3 to 18 months of age. Because the DOC Band relies on natural brain growth—which is rapid during the first 6 months of life, steady from 6 to 18 months, then slows through 24 months of age—starting treatment early has been shown to reduce overall treatment time. How long treatment lasts will depend on your baby’s age and the severity of your baby’s condition. Starting treatment between the ages of 4 and 6 months, a period of rapid head growth, has been shown to reduce overall treatment time, though noticeable improvement can be achieved using the band between 3 and 18 months of age. Most treatment times are between 5 weeks and 4 months. Although I have seen babies who need to be in the band longer and also have good end results. I hope this is helpful to you and good luck to your and your little one.
Marion Addis, PT