Understanding KiSS Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, and Management

Understanding KiSS Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, and Management

KiSS syndrome is the abbreviation for cervical-induced symmetry disorder. Strictly speaking, this is not a disease but a control disorder. KiSS syndrome is a misalignment that starts at the transition area between the base of the skull and the vertebral joints in the area of ​​the upper cervical spine. The KiSS syndrome leads to asymmetrical postures and movements. Examples include hyperextension of the spine, facial asymmetry where one half of the face is smaller than the other, and asymmetrical use of the arms and legs.

Causes of KiSS Syndrome

The causes of KiSS syndrome are mainly due to problems during birth when the unborn child’s head is pressed under high pressure through the mother’s narrow birth canal, or it performs rotary movements during birth that put a lot of strain on the head joint.

Risk factors for KiSS syndrome are a suction cup or forceps birth, emergency caesarean sections, twin births, very rapid births and a birth weight of more than 4,000 grams. As a result of a breech or breech presentation, disorders can already occur during pregnancy.


KiSS syndrome: symptoms in babies

Babies with KiSS syndrome can have a severely crooked head position – hence the term wry neck – and trunk, and possibly an asymmetrical skull shape with a flattened back of the head. However, problems in the area of ​​the cervical spine can also be noticed by bending the head back to protect the cervical spine. Babies with KiSS syndrome typically avoid lying on their stomachs and do not like to crawl.

Typical KiSS syndrome symptoms in infants are:

  • An asymmetrical head position and a crooked position in bed
  • Drinking problems with frequent drooling and difficulty swallowing
  • Trouble sleeping, frequent awakenings and restlessness
  • Sensitivity to touch, especially when picked up (infants respond by screaming or crying )
  • Head holding weakness and head rotation weakness
  • Crying children, three-month colic
  • unilateral breastfeeding problems
  • Skull/head asymmetry with unilateral underdevelopment of one-half of the face

These symptoms do not all appear at the same time and can sometimes be the result of other causes. For example, skipping the crawling stage can also occur in healthy children.

KiSS syndrome: symptoms in children and adults

More recently, KiSS syndrome has been blamed for other ailments in children: These ailments include impaired motor development, failure to thrive with reduced growth and failure to gain weight, and ENT problems.

If the KiSS syndrome is not treated in infancy, the so-called Kidd syndrome occurs. Kidd’s Syndrome means head joint-induced dyspraxia/dysgnosia. Dyspraxia is the inability to perform learned movements despite the existing ability to perceive and move, and dysgnosia for impaired perception. In school-age children, the symptoms shift to learning difficulties (sometimes called arithmetic weaknesses), difficulty concentrating, impaired perception, hyperactivity or aggressiveness, headaches and poor posture.

Untreated KiSS syndrome can later lead to cervical spine problems, chronic back painherniated discs, ringing in the ears, dizziness, movement and balance disorders in adults.


Treating KiSS Syndrome

Before the KiSS syndrome is treated, a comprehensive examination of the children is necessary. The doctor may also recommend an X-ray examination.

According to Gutmann, the KiSS syndrome can be treated well with manual therapy (also called the Hio technique or Atlas therapy, according to Arlen). The manual treatment is intended to restore the symmetry of the cervical spine. For this purpose, a pressure impulse (without rotational components) is applied to the two upper cervical vertebrae. Furthermore, mobilizing grips are carried out on other parts of the spine. The grips used in children are different from those used in adults.

This one-off manual therapy is enough for many children to achieve convincing results. Osteopathic therapy is possible as a supportive measure. If manual therapy does not bring the desired success, the next step in treatment is physiotherapy. However, physiotherapy in patients with KiSS syndrome should begin by four weeks after manual therapy.

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