Osteopathy and children
The Calm and soothing approach of Osteopathy makes it especially suitable for treating children, including newborn infants. Children may develop structural problems from a variety of causes including:
Difficulties during pregnancy or birth
Childhood accidents and falls
Infections or inflammatory conditions
Osteopathic principles, care and treatment can assist in a wide variety of conditions, either solely, or alongside other disciplines.
STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS, such as those affecting the proper mobility and function of the body's framework, can lead to a range of problems. These may include:
Postural - such as scoliosis
Respiratory - such as asthma
Manifestations of brain injury - such as cerebral palsy and spasticity
Developmental - with delayed physical or intellectual progress, perhaps triggering learning behaviour difficulties
Infections - such as ear and throat infections or urinary disturbances, which may be recurrent.
OSTEOPATHY can assist in the prevention of health problems, helping children to make a smooth transition into normal, healthy adult life.
Osteopaths care for the child as a whole person. This holistic approach encompasses all functions and influences including the body, emotions, mind and spirit.
Before any treatment is begun, the Osteopath prepares a comprehensive case history and completes an examination of the child, including medical tests, thereby determining if osteopathic treatment is appropriate or if there is need for referral.
Using sensitive palpatory skills, the Osteopath can gently identify where the child's structure has been disturbed.
Why Osteopathy Works?
Osteopaths recognize that every structure in the body is designed to move. Along with obvious movements, such as crawling, walking, running and skipping, they recognise the importance of internal movements including the circulation of blood, the exchange of gases during breathing, the digestion of food and elimination of waste products.
Osteopaths also understand that the body is constantly adjusting its musculo-skeletal system during activity in order to maintain a sense of balance in the body and keep the eyes and ears horizontal. This sense of balance, or lack of it, is central to the Osteopathic discipline.
Osteopaths acknowledge that the body is dynamic and that each region of the body is intrinsically interconnected with every other region. For this reason, Osteopaths recognise that certain symptoms in a particular part of the body may not necessarily be caused by a problem in that area. For instance:
Headaches may be caused by spinal trauma
Low back problems may be the sequel to a hip, knee or foot injury
Disturbances of the infant's head or body structure may be the result of a difficult labour and may lead to breathing and gastric difficulties.
Most importantly, Osteopaths realise that within every child there are inherent self-healing and self-regulating mechanisms. Osteopaths assist, accelerate and enhance the natural healing process.