Good media exposure but poor advice by the Pediatrician!

So there was a recent episode on Jane the Virgin (episode 206, chapter 28) that highlighted plagiocephaly (Thanks Jessica for sharing!) They correctly demonstrated a common cause that new mothers are not aware of. The acting pediatrician also recommended corrective helmet therapy to improve the flattened head shape.


There was NO SUGGESTION given to the parents about preventative and corrective pediatric physical  therapy!

How are the new parents supposed to know how to prevent the flat spot from re-occurring? Or to prevent a new one from forming once the helmet is removed?

How are the new parents supposed to know how to attain age appropriate head control and muscle endurance in the tummy time position?

How are they to know all the different ways to do tummy time and for how long, in order to reach their goals for their infant?

How are they to know if there are assosicated developmental delays and how to improve them?

A recent article shared with me by Dr John Graham Jr. of Cedar Sinai indicates a strong correlation between infants that develop positional plagiocephaly and onset of gross motor developmental delay.

The article urges all pediatricians to let parents know of the benefits of preventative intervention, which parents can easily learn from a licensed pediatric physical therapist.

I am happy to see we are stepping in the right direction but it is clear that there is still a huge lack of awareness about the topics of plagiocephaly, torticollis and motor delays in infants.

In the meantime, here is the video clip!

November 21, 2015. Tags: , , , , , , . Media Spotlights. Leave a comment.

Continue to Pray For Sweet Eddie- he continues to Recover!

Eddie suffered a near death drowning several months ago and has been in special care as he continues to recover. You can follow his recovery on his Facebook page: Pray for Sweet Eddie and send him prayers as prayers continue to help!  We will continue to send prayers his way from Physical Therapy Solutions and help him and his family however way we can.


March 2, 2014. Tags: , , , . Newsletter Spotlights. Leave a comment.

Results of our August Fundraiser: Thank you Thank you from the bottom of our Hearts!

The outpour of love and generosity was more than we expected during our August fundraiser for sweet baby Eddie.

His Mother was shocked and elated to hear the great news when we called to tell her how much we were able to raise! The funds raised will go toward supporting Eddie’s healing process. A check was made out to him and mailed to him today!

View  this video for a special message from Eddie’s Mom to those who donated.

September 6, 2013. Tags: , , , , , . Events. 1 comment.

PT Solutions Has 100% Success Rate w/ Early Intervention for Infants With Flat-Head Syndrome

Check out our CBS 2 Feature on Dr. Yvette Flores, PT, DPT, aired on 4/30/13

May 1, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Early Head Start, Events, FYI's for New Parents, Welcome New Parents!. Leave a comment.

It is rewarding helping Mom’s and their babies with PT!

Here is what a Mom recently posted about us on Yelp:

“The highly noted Dr Graham (out of Cedar Sinai) recommended PTSolutions when he examined my son at 2 months and found a moderate-severe Torticollis. I called PTSolutions that very day and they got me in immediately. Dr. Flores recommended a twice weekly program plus exercises at home. She worked with my son regularly over the next several months and his Torticollis went away. He still had to wear the helmut but when I went back to Dr. Graham he was exceptionally impressed with the work Dr. Flores had accomplished and that the Torticollis was gone! My son LOVES Dr. Flores. He was always happy to be at PTS and always comfortable with the very helpful staff!

BTW – I liked how much Dr. Flores was invested in helping my son that I asked her to look at me and my neck/shoulder issues. She set up a program for me and has dramatically helped me improve my strength and ability to lift my son. A miracle after all the other failed physically therapy places I’d been.

This is a highly professional facility that is INVESTED in YOUR recovery! My highest recommendations and a heartfelt thank you to this great place!” Alex. S. West Hollywood, CA

We strive for moments like this, impacting the lives of families on a daily basis. What a joy!

December 5, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Testimonials. Leave a comment.

Get to Know Dr. Yvette Flores: Head & Neck Specialist for Infants, Children & Adults

September 25, 2012. Tags: , , , , , . Invitations, Newsletter Spotlights, Welcome New Parents!. Leave a comment.

Plagiocephaly: Early Intervention prevents, PT corrects the cause, Helmet improves shape

It is recommended to start physical therapy intervention as as soon as a parent or pediatrician detects a developing flat spot (plagiocephaly, brachycephaly).  It is equally important for pediatricians and OBGYN doctors to educate new moms that may have a newborn that is at risk for positional plagiocephaly.  Usually, pediatricians and OBGYN doctors refer these moms to a pediatric specialist for a consultation.

What are the risk factors?  Intra-uterine constraint (first pregnancy, multiple birth, breeched/ transverse positioning, intra-uterine fibroids, larger than average infant head or body size, > 40 weeks delivery) and traumatic birth history (infant head in birth canal for long period of time, use of vacuum/clamp, emergency c-section or premature delivery).

 “It is completely possible to identify newborns who are at risk for positional plagiocephaly and help the families of these newborns at risk,  prevent the flattening from ever happening. ”  Dr Yvette Flores

We recommend a physical therapy evaluation within the first two months of life.  Physical therapy intervention could be as short as 2 visits: the first visit is to evaluate and educate the parents on what to do, the second visit is to follow up after a month or so to make sure the parents are doing a great job and the child’s head is looking good.

Physical therapy intervention has a high success rate at improving and restoring head shape symmetry when initiated between birth to 3 months of age.  In severe cases, however, helmet therapy is recommended.

Helmet therapy is most effective when done between 5 months to 8 months of age, in conjunction with physical therapy.  Helmet therapy eliminates the challenge parents have of sleeping their child ‘off’ the flat spot by offering an environment where nothing touches the flat spot 23 hours a day.  Depending on the severity of the flat spot and the child’s age, the helmet is used for 2 to 5 months.

We typically don’t recommend helmet therapy earlier than 5 months because:

1) Physical therapy alone usually can guide the families to normal restored head shape

2) Initiating helmet therapy too early can result in the need for another helmet shortly after the child grows out of the first.

3) Helmets are costly with no guarantee that health insurance will cover it.  On average, they are about $4000 depending on which center you go to.  If we can help families save four thousand dollars with just physical therapy alone, we are all for it.

4)  If the underlying ‘root cause’ of the plagiocephaly isn’t corrected by the time the helmet therapy is done, there is a chance of re-flattening. Here is an analogy: take a piece of play doh, putty or soft clay.  Make a round ball out of it and place it on a flat surface such as a table.  After a few minutes, you will see that the round ball begins to flatten where it is in contact with the table.  The same thing occurs with infant heads which is impressionable from birth to 12 months: repetitive pressure on the same spot can cause re-flattening.  If the child still has signs of positional ‘favoring’ (prefers sleeping with head turned or tilted to the left), it is likely that the original spot that was rounded out with the helmet can get dented in again over time.

Bottom line:  Positional plagiocephaly can be PREVENTED by :

1) Simply educating new parents on preventative techniques: if your pediatrician or OBGYN doctor does not refer new parents for a physical therapy early intervention session, parents can take the initiative to schedule this session directly with a pediatric physical therapist that specializes in head and neck challenges.  We recommend doing this within the first 2 months of life.

2) As a new parent, find out if your newborn is at risk by looking at the risk factors listed above and seeing how many (if any) pertain to your pregnancy and birth history.  If you identify with even 2 items on the list, it is imperative that you learn preventative techniques to start applying right away.  Schedule a session with a skilled pediatric therapist to learn what you can do that is safe and effective.

If your child has an obvious developing flat spot in the back of his/her head….

*Tell your baby’s pediatrician that you would like to schedule a consultation with a pediatric physical therapist.  It is a smart idea to get the opinion of a physical therapist who specializes in head & neck challenges on your baby’s developing flat spot, to learn techniques you can start doing right away to prevent it from getting flatter, and to determine if you child is a candidate for a physical therapy (and helmet therapy) program.

A referral or prescription for a physical therapy evaluation is not required in the state of California (and possibly other states). Should your child benefit from a course of physical therapy, the therapist can then get the prescription from your pediatrician.

January 15, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Early Head Start, FYI's for New Parents. Leave a comment.

An alternate sleep positioner to improve or prevent head flattening

We are always finding ways to help families seeking our help to improve their baby’s misshapen head.  In the past 10 years, I have learned various techniques and tips that have proved to work for many.  Whether it’s the use of rice bags to block sleeping on a flat spot, or the use of special pillows in the car seat/stroller to block laying on a flat spot, I am constantly researching safe ways to help families improve head shape and avoid the helmet.

NOTE: In order to guarantee safety using any sleep positioner or head device, it is mandatory to get instructed and cleared by a pediatric physical therapist who is a head & neck specialist.  Do not attempt to use any suggestions or recommendations found online without first getting instructed and cleared.

CASE STUDY:  4 month old baby boy with ‘moderate to severe’ right head flattening

I am excited to share a case study of a 4 month old baby boy who was referred to me by his Pediatrician for flattening of the back of the head.  After his PT evaluation, I rated the severity of flattening to be ‘moderate-severe right plagiocephaly’.  I immediately instructed his Mom on repositioning techniques off the flat spot, to start allowing it to re-round and re-shape.

Our protocol in addressing cases of head flattening is three-fold: 1.  Identify and address the root cause of the flat spot, which is typically a tight neck muscle or larger than average head size.  2.  Immediately instruct parents on safe repositioning techniques off the flat spot in the crib, car seat and stroller.  3.  Implement a physical therapy program of stretches, massage techniques and strengthening techniques to correct the underlying cause and improve the head shape.

Regarding this case, my goal was to help this baby’s parents successfully prevent further flattening and improve head shape to a mild to moderate category within 2 to 3 months, which is a typical expectation.  Within the first two to three weeks of initiating physical therapy, we were seeing clear range of motion improvements with his head turning and clear strength gains lifting and turning his head during tummy time.  However, Mom was having a difficult time blocking him from sleeping on the flat spot.  Even with the techniques I suggested, her son kept finding his way back to laying on the flat spot.

Mom discovered that the only time she can successfully block him from laying on the flat spot is when he fell asleep in his swing.  She started opting to nap him in this device and sent me photos to make sure this was OK.  

After viewing the device and looking at how she positions him in it, I told her I felt comfortable having her nap him in it.  So long as she was in the room with him, she even had him sleep in it during the night.

The head shape improvements over the next  month was astounding.  I just worked with him yesterday and rated his head shape to be ‘mild’ right plagiocephaly.  He is no longer a possible candidate for helmet therapy.  I am happy to see that after just a month of successfully sleeping him off of the flat spot, using this swing, he went from moderate-severe flatness to mild flatness.  Why is this a big deal, you might ask?  It is the fastest correction I’ve ever seen without the use of a helmet in a baby with a strong rotational favoring during sleep.

I recommend looking into this device as an alternate method of napping with success off the flat spot.  Mom took some of my instructed techniques and applied them with the use of this swing cradle and was 100% successful.

If your baby favors looking to the same side when sleeping or has a developing flat spot, you may want to find out what options are available and get instructed and cleared by a specialist as soon as possible.

If you are interested in learning more about this device as an option, I encourage you to schedule a physical therapy evaluation with me  so that I can assess the severity of your baby’s condition and we can discuss if this could be a good option of correcting or protecting your baby’s head shape.  For more information about our clinic and evaluation services, go to or call us 800 507 2634.

March 5, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . FYI's for New Parents, Newsletter Spotlights. 3 comments.

I am #9418 who signed the Positional Plagiocephaly Petition

Ever since the Back to Sleep Campaign and the recent fear-induced note from the FDA about sleep positioners, specialists such as myself have been concerned about our efforts to provide needed education and awareness to new parents. I came across a fabulous effort on behalf of the moderators of the yahoo group: Positional Plagocephaly. They are having parents sign a petition to create much needed awareness by the American Academy and American Board of Pediatrics. I agree with this petition and have signed it myself!

I have posted the petition below for your review as well as the link, should you decide to add your voice to this cause.

Dr. Yvette Flores, PT, DPT

To: American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Infant Positioning and SIDS, and The American Board of Pediatrics

John Kattwinkel, MD, Chairperson
John G. Brooks, MD
Maurice E. Keenan, MD
Michael Malloy, MD


To: The American Board of Pediatrics,

Prior to the 1992 Implementation of the Back to Sleep Campaign, it was estimated that 1 in 300 babies had varying degrees of cranial asymmetry {abnormal head shape}. As of today, it is estimated that 1 in 60 babies have a cephalic disorder, known as Positional Plagiocephaly. The numbers are increasing in epidemic proportions globally. We respect the American Academy of Pediatrics commitment towards the quality of health for our children. However, we as parents feel the Task Force on Infant Positioning and SIDS has not fulfilled its duties with educating the public or the medical establishment on the complexities of this campaign.

The American Academy of Pediatrics’ stand has been a supine sleeping position to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The AAP has only recently released a statement of the importance of “tummy time.” The recommendations in this statement do not indicate an effective course of treatment – or serve as standard medical care – for Deformational or Positional Plagiocephaly.

Deformational and Positional Plagiocephaly is characterized as follows:

PLAGIOCEPHALY- significant flattening of the right or left skull, typically accompanied by ear misalignment and facial asymmetry

SCAPHOCEPHALY – Long and narrow head shape

BRACHYCEPHALY – shortening of the head due to flatness,increased head height, often accompanied by an under bite.

Suggested Manifestations of Cranial Asymmetry are as follows:

torticollis- Face turns to the right or left with a head tilt
Misaligned ears,
Nose pushed to one side,
Unilateral cheek prominence,
Bossing of the forehead,
One eye appearing larger than the other.

Head shape abnormalities are believed to cause:

Temporomandibular Joint {TMJ} Syndrome,
Eyesight problems, and
Severe Psychological Consequences

We as parents will continue to place our children in a supine sleeping position. We are asking the American Academy of Pediatrics to implement a policy requiring our children’s doctors to carefully evaluate every child at birth for cranial abnormalities, and follow up at every well-baby checkup thereafter. We are asking the American Board of Pediatrics to offer various options for treatment when these abnormalities are present.

The phrase, “It will round out,” is simply not true in most cases. Aggressive repositioning is not always successful. We as parents would like to be given a referral to an educated specialist, in a timely manner. The ideal timeframe for maximum correction is between 3 and 6 months. We as parents do not want babies with perfectly round heads. What we expect is recognition and response to the rise of documented disorders related to the “Back to Sleep” campaign.



To sign the petition yourself, go to:

November 24, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , . Early Head Start, FYI's for New Parents. Leave a comment.

An Adult Case of Unresolved Congenital Muscular Torticollis

Dr. Flores:  Deanna, thank you for interviewing with us today and for taking the time to share your interesting story.  We support you in your efforts to raise awareness of un-resolved congenital muscular torticollis (CMT) and its impact on adults.  We can only hope that parents who have an infant or toddler with a head and neck challenge will take from your story and make the best decision possible for their child.  With this in mind, how old were you when you were diagnosed with CMT and what were the physical signs?

Deanna:  I really don’t know how old I was at diagnosis but I was always told, simply, that I was born with it.  I have a baby picture where I was about 4 months old & the torticollis & facial asymmetries were obvious. The right side of my face is still rounder & fuller than the left side, resulting in a ‘C’-shape curve to my entire face.  My left eye is lower than my right eye.  My ears are uneven.  My teeth are off-kilter from my smile.  I have always tilted to the left.

Dr. Flores:  What types of intervention and formal treatments did your parents have you do?

Deanna:  I don’t believe I ever did a course of physical therapy or cranial sacral therapy as an infant or toddler, and I am not sure why.  My parents were told that my condition was not a big deal and many said that it would resolve on its own.   Unfortunately, my condition did not resolve on its own.  At the age of 13, I had to undergo the SCM (sternocleidomastoid muscle) release surgery.  I only recall one appointment with the surgeon prior to surgery, and one appointment afterward where they taught me two stretches and that was it.  Unfortunately, that was the extent of the post-surgery physical therapy care I received.  I feel that I did not have proper follow-up care and therefore feel like the surgery was not as helpful as it could have been.

Dr. Flores:  Do you still have symptoms of torticollis today, and if so, what are you doing to minimize or correct it?

Deanna: Yes, I still tilt to the left.  I can’t look fully over my left shoulder compared to the right; its 3/4ths of the full range.  I have trained myself to sleep with my head tilted to the right, or on the cheek on my torticollis side (head turned to the left), hoping that it helps stretch the muscle out in the middle of the night. During the day, I try to be conscious of holding my head straight so that my eyes look less crooked as I work and go about my life with my family.  When I hold my head straight, it doesn’t feel like its straight; it feels like my head is tilting the opposite way past the center.  Regarding formal intervention, I have been researching to see if there are any treatments I can do right now to resolve my CMT.  I believe I have scar tissue build up in the area I had surgery and wonder if anything could be done now to improve it.  I have been to my local physician to try to get a referral to a specialist, with no luck.  I am trying to decide if I should pursue physical therapy on my own to see if it will help or talk to a surgeon that does the SCM release procedure, to see if another release, followed by proper physical therapy, is worth considering.

Dr. Flores:  Did the torticollis pose obstacles in your life growing up?  Do you have any obstacles now?

Deanna:  Absolutely! Growing up, I was made fun of constantly – which made me very shy, even afraid. I was ridiculed with nicknames that followed me from grade school to high school, and I still feel like people look at me funny.  I rarely look anyone in the eyes, because I don’t want them to see how crooked my face is.  I feel like I have to exert extra effort to have people look past my physical appearance and focus on my personality or intellect.  I have a hard time accepting a compliment that I look nice.  I almost never have my picture taken, because I hate how it looks, which is sad because I’m not in very many pictures with my kids growing up.  Currently, I am content just being with my family.  I am a wife and a mom of two beautifully perfect girls.  I count my blessings as I know that there are plenty of folks that have worse problems than I do.

Dr. Flores:  Based on your own experience growing up with CMT, what advice can you give to new parents?

Deanna:  This may sound simple, but my advice is, learn everything you can about it. Go with your gut instinct.  Don’t just passively take the doctor’s word if he/she feels that there’s nothing that needs to be done.  It’s OK to get a second opinion and/or an evaluation by a head & neck physical therapy specialist.  As a parent, do everything in your power to make sure your kids grow up normally.

Dr. Flores:  In your opinion, what is the best method of identifying early signs of CMT, addressing it, and correcting it?

Deanna:  Well, I think for most new parents, they have no idea what it is. Even though it is becoming so common, the parent has to notice that something isn’t right and not drop the subject until they get help that shows improvement. Pediatricians need to be taught to recognize it and be experts in common treatment paths. I can say to all parents and doctors, it isn’t something you grow out of.  From everything I have read up to this point, it sounds like most cases can be resolved by an experienced, attentive physical therapist and determined parents who do everything possible to fix this for their children.  I really think that a lot can be gained by simply educating parents and the medical community. Please visit and provide some feedback if possible, and help me share the site with others affected by congenital muscular torticollis. –Deanna Franks

January 12, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Newsletter Spotlights. 48 comments.

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