At the London Orthotic Consultancy, we have been treating babies with flat head syndrome since 2005, when helmet therapy was first made available in the UK.
Since then, all babies that have completed their course of treatment with us – which involves wearing the LOCband helmet for 23 hours a day for a period of time set by the clinician – have achieved a measurable improvement in their head shape.
Below you can find a series of case histories of babies that have completed their treatment with us, which link to their individual stories on our blog.
Francis came to see us at our Harley Street with his parents when he was almost 4 months old, his parents had noticed his flat head shape when he was 2 months and began repositioning him almost immediately. After 3 months of wear it was completely removed and parents were very pleased with the results.
Reggie was 4 months old when he first attended the London Orthotics Consultancy’s clinic in Harley Street. His parents were worried about the shape of his head, which was also showing signs of brachycephaly, which they had noticed from the age of 6 weeks; they had actively repositioned him since they noticed his head shape but they felt it was having no effect.
Reggie responded to helmet therapy well, which continued for 6 months, during which his asymmetry reduced from 24mm to 6mm, a fantastic result.
Baby Amrit came to our Kingston clinic at the age of five months, with flat spots and 12mm asymmetry. His journey lasted four and a half months and he achieved a reduced asymmetry of 3mm.
Magnus came to LOC at the age of 5 months with severe plagiocephaly and an asymmetry reading of 16mm. Three months later, his asymmetry had gone down to 6mm.
Helmet therapy helped reduce Ewan’s plagiocephaly from 17mm asymmetry to 5mm. A “huge difference” says mother Natalie, that would not have been possible by relying on repositioning alone.
Hudson was 7 months of age when he was first assessed and his parents felt they had reached full potential with repositioning. After his helmet was fitted, he started to make amazing progress and 4 months later his asymmetry had gone from 13mm to 2mm and his plagiocephaly was barely noticeable.
Read Hudson's full plagiocephaly treatment story
Tom was 4 ½ months old when he first came to see us. His helmet was fitted two weeks later and within ten weeks his asymmetry had reduced by 50%. After four months, his asymmetry was minimal.
This is very much dependent on how fast your baby is growing. The faster the growth, the more frequently your baby will be seen so that the helmet can be adjusted. In general, reviews will happen at two to four-week intervals.
The price of treatment covers:
Yes - All babies that have completed their course of treatment with us have achieved a measurable improvement in head shape. However, you don’t have to take our word for it.
Recent independent research conducted by a University Hospital in Germany has endorsed the treatment for babies with moderate or severe plagiocephaly.
A larger, retrospective study has just been published that found complete correction was achieved in 94.4% of babies treated with helmet therapy.
The results were conclusive: repositioning achieved acceptable correction in 77.1% of cases, but 15.8% were moved onto helmet therapy because re-positioning was not working. Meanwhile, 94.4% of the infants who started in the helmet-treated group achieved full correction, as did 96.1% of those who were transferred from the repositioning group into the helmet-treated group.
Further information can be found on our Plagiocephaly Research page.
If your baby has a temperature or a fever due to illness you must remove the band. The band can be put back on once the temperature has returned to normal.
The optimum age for treatment is between four and seven months.
This is because the skull is most malleable at this age and improvements to head shape tend to take less time and are more dramatic. That is not to say that helmet therapy should be ruled out if the baby is older than seven months. Routinely, babies up to the age of 16 months can be treated very successfully.
The cut off age is around 18 months when the fontanelles (soft spots on the head) are no longer malleable. As babies grow and develop at different rates, it is always worth checking if you are not sure. There have been cases where a baby’s fontanelles have not fused yet by the age of 18 months, who have achieved successful, but less-marked results with cranial remoulding therapy.
Torticollis is a condition in which a tight or shortened muscle in one side of the neck causes the head to tilt or turn to one side, resulting in the infant resting its head in the same position. In 2013, we analysed the data from all first appointments in our Kingston clinic and found that 20% of the babies examined had some kind of neck condition that was causing head immobility.
The clinics and clinicians that provide this treatment in the UK will have received similar training and experience. However, we are the only clinic that manufactures its own helmet and our clinicians are closely involved with the process for each individual helmet that we produce.
In addition, we do not restrict review appointments to a set number, we are extremely flexible and respond to individual parents' needs so that the best outcome can be achieved for each baby.
The LOCband is non-invasive and works by applying gentle, constant pressure over the areas of the baby’s skull that are most prominent while allowing unrestricted growth over the flattened areas. The band consists of a soft foam layer inside a thermoplastic shell. As the baby grows, the band will be adjusted frequently to gently guide the skull into a more symmetrical shape.