KISS Syndrom is not a disease but a dysfunction or blockage in the upper cervical spine in the atlanto-occipital junction in children and newborn. The definition of KISS in English is: Kinematic Imbalance due to Suboccipital Stress. KISS-Syndrom is also referred to : Torticollis, wry neck, stiff neck, head tilt, caput obstipum, twisted neck, crooked neck or collum distortum. A German doctor, Heinder Biedermann, who invented the term KISS in the early 1990th, was practicing in Dortmund, and is now based in Cologne is using a manual medicine on the atlanto-occipital joints.
In clinical studies it has been found that this stress in the C0-C1 region can cause different symptoms and can affect the newborn infant. If that dysfunction stays untreated it can result an asymmetric development of the head and the whole spine. It can disturb the normal movement development, children can develop a scoliosis, other back problems or digestion problems. Even though it can have influance in mental problems such as learning difficulties, hyperactivity, lack of concenntration, etc., parents can sometimes notice that the baby is holding the head predominantly to one side and the body is overstretched.
Such a dysbalance can be already found in the mother`s womb or by the birth where the newborn is exposed to very strong forces. The most common symptoms which are found in the literature are muscular torticollis, facial and skull asymmetry, asymmetrical movement of arms and legs and flattening of the skull (plagiocephaly). It can lead to hyperextension, asymmetric shoulders and hips, weak mouth and neck muscles, unilateral breast feeding problems, cold or sweat hands.
Osteopaths look at the whole picture. KISS or torticollis describes the blockage on the CO-C1 region. But there is a whole chain of structures can be involved. There is the connection between the skull and pelvis, the cranial-sacral system. Nerves which are leaving the skull and passing the Atlas, the first vertebra bone which are supplying thevisceral cranium, the fascial organs and mucous membrane can cause sucking and swallowing problems: Nervus glossopharyngeus, N accessorius, N Hypoglossus. A very important nerve has to be mentioned, the vagus which is supplying the digestion organs. If the nerve accessorius is pinched, this can cause high tone on the muscle sternocleidomastoideus and muscle trapezius on one side which can cause torticollis. If the nerve hypoglossus is pinched, this can cause motoric disorder in the movement of the tongue followed by chewing and swallowing problems. Pinched nerves can cause a variety of symptoms such as: sinus problems, ear infections, sleeping and digestion problems. They can also cause headache and migraine.
The body has the tendency to maintain a stable, relatively constant internal and external evironment in balance by compensation. It needs a lot of energy to do so. But there are limits. Sometimes it needs external manual help and this is where Osteopaths can support the self healing power.
In my practice I am using a very gentle approach without being invasive, Biodynamic Osteopathy in the Cranial field. To realign this very sensitive area between the skull and the first vertebra bone, the Atlas, I am using a very gentle and subtle touch to the patient`s body. Parents are sometimes wondering if I am doing anything. But the baby`s bones and tissues are so soft that from my point of view, as a Biodynamic Osteopath, there is no need to use force such as manipulation. The wellbeing of the baby can improve after a few treatments and it can have a big positive impact to the whole life of the newborn.