Types of Plagiocephaly

Type of Head Shape

Whatever type of head shape your baby has, there is something that you can do about it. The first option is to try repositioning. The objective is to continually reposition your baby’s head so it is not resting on the affected area. LOC’s clinicians will give you lots of tips about what you can do.

Repositioning and tummy time techniques can be enough to encourage natural correction of your baby’s head shape. However, not all babies will respond as some will simply go back to their preferred sitting/sleeping position and little natural correction can take place.


Plagiocephaly is a condition that affects the skull, making the back or side of a baby’s head appear flattened.


Brachycephaly is a type of plagiocephaly.  The name is derived from the Greek for short-head.  The shape of the skull is shorter than average. 


Scaphocephaly is a type of plagiocephaly.  It's name is derived from the Greek for ‘light boat’, describing a long but narrow head resembling an inverted boat.

Cranial Helmets

For babies with moderate or severe Positional Plagiocephaly who have reached the age of 4-5 months, we recommend cranial remoulding therapy with a specially manufactured baby helmet – The LOCband or LOCband-Lite.

Age is important as treatment is most effective and quicker when treatment is started at this age. However, babies up to the age of 16 months can be treated very successfully, it just takes longer and the results may not be as dramatic as with younger babies.

Visit our Plagiocephaly Treatment page

Above: LOCband fitting

Above: LOCband fitting

Plagiocephaly FAQS:

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:

  • all your baby’s required appointments from start to the end of treatment, no matter how many are required to achieve the improvement in head shape that you are happy with;
  • the cost of manufacturing the LOCband and supply of appropriate cleaning fluid for the band;
  • all reports to your GP/paediatrician/ cranial osteopath/physiotherapist, including a final scan report with objective measurements of change achieve;
  • full telephone support from your clinician during treatment, and, if necessary, extra review appointments at short notice.

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.


Plagiocephaly Treatment

Cranial remoulding therapy with a specially manufactured baby helmet is a very effective treatment for Positional Plagiocephaly.

At LOC, we predominantly manufacture and fit the LOCband Lite cranial orthosis which is custom-made and works by applying pressure to pre-defined areas of the skull.

The LOCband

The LOCband has been designed and perfected after years of experience in treating positional plagiocephaly.

It is manufactured bespoke for each baby to exact clinical specifications.

The manufacturing process is overseen by the clinician to ensure the best possible fit and comfort for your baby.

The LOCband Lite

The LOCband Lite has been designed to be lightweight and cooler thanks to modern 3D printing techniques.

It is also made bespoke for each baby to exact clinical specifications.

It has proven results with patients and dramatically reduces weight by 40%, increasing comfort for your baby.


If your baby has a ‘flat head’ within a certain part of the skull, the first option is to try repositioning.

The objective is to reposition your baby’s head, avoiding the existing flattened area.

Until four-five months of age, repositioning & tummy time techniques can encourage natural correction.

Free Photo Diagnosis

If you think your baby has a flat head or if you are at all concerned about the shape of your baby’s head and would like an immediate opinion from one of our experienced clinicians, take some photographs of your baby from different angles and upload them to our contact form for a free photo diagnosis.

Plagiocephaly FAQs

The LOC have offered cranial helmet therapy for many years now, and we have compiled a list of commonly asked questions from our patients, in the form of this plagiocephaly FAQ.

Back to Sleep

Although the 'Back to Sleep' campaign has been linked to the increased incidence of positional plagiocephaly, (for more information, see Diagnosis and Management of Positional Head Deformity) it has saved lives by reducing the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), (more information can be found on The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths). Therefore, babies should always be placed on their backs to sleep.


Nina and Ella: identical twins treated for craniosynostosis

Mum Natalie shares her experience of having both her identical twins diagnosed with craniosynostosis. Ella and Nina had surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital before going through cranial remoulding therapy at the London Orthotic Consultancy.

Reciprocating Gait Orthosis gets Ted back on his feet again

See how a thorough gait analysis and a correctly-fitted, bespoke Reciprocating Gait Orthosis (RGO) helped Ted, a spinal surgery and cancer survivor, improve his rehabilitation and mobility goals, getting him back on his feet again.

Introducing our new slimline pectus brace

We are proud to announce the launch of our latest innovation in non-surgical treatment for pectus deformities. Our new dynamic chest compressor is one of the slimmest pectus braces on the market and is designed to reshape the chest without the need for invasive surgery.

Rosie's plagiocephaly journey

Rosie’s very severe plagiocephaly was no problem for the LOCBand Lite 3D-printed cranial remoulding helmet, going from 16mm to 2mm in just six months.

John walks again without aids thanks to Carbon Fibre Neuro Swing AFO

When John came to see us, his ankle was in a bad way. He had around 60mm of his tibia missing and not much if any talus present. He needed crutches to support him to walk. A gait analysis and a new bespoke carbon fibre knee ankle foot orthosis (KAFO) later and he is able to walk again without crutches.

Matilde’s scoliosis bracing story

Matilde travelled from Chile to LOC for bracing treatment for her adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Now, nearly a year and a half since she started wearing her brace, she has achieved near-total correction of the curvature of her spine. This is her scoliosis bracing story.

Will's Pectus Carinatum treatment story

After only 6 months of wearing bespoke pectus braces from The London Orthotic Consultancy, Will started to notice a visible difference in his pectus carinatum.

Iulia's Scoliosis Bracing Story

After trying out several scoliosis braces in Romania, Ukraine and Turkey, Iulia begins treatment with the LOC Scoliosis Brace and is already seeing results in a matter of months. Here her mum, Raluca, describes how and why they came to LOC for her treatment.

Pevious Next

For Plagiocephaly free photo diagnosis, please upload images in accordance with our plagiocephaly photo guide (max. 2mb each).

For Pectus, please follow our pectus photo guide (max 2mb each).