Helping your child
Osteopathy is an effective and natural approach to healthcare for all life stages. Osteopaths treat babies and children for a variety of common complaints, and to ensure healthy postural development.
Often, after treatment, the baby or child is very relaxed and sleeps well. Others have a burst of energy, and then have a good night’s sleep. Occasionally children feel unsettled, but this is a temporary situation that happens when mechanical changes are occurring, and only lasts for a day or two.
Children of any age can benefit from osteopathy. It is never too early to start, and for best results treatment should begin before the age of five. Early treatment reduces hindrances to growth and limits the severity of any developing learning difficulty.
Many of the problems that babies and children suffer are caused before, during and immediately after birth, and the child may be left with uncomfortable stresses within its head and body.
These stresses can lead to problems such as suckling and latching-on difficulties, irritability, colic, wind and disturbed sleep patterns. Toddlers may suffer from difficulties with mobility and play, and they may sit, crawl and walk early, seeking movement to relieve physical discomfort. Sleep patterns are disturbed, teething may be uncomfortable and head banging or pulling at the hair may occur.
Osteopathic treatment can bring about significant improvement in these cases, and has particular success in treating the problems suffered by premature babies. These babies inevitably suffer stresses and trauma during birth and then further stress from the equipment that needs to be used to stabilise their condition.
Distortions to the head can continue to hinder the growth and development of a child’s brain as it grows older. The child’s behaviour may be volatile, and they may have problems with co-ordination and physical development. They may be vulnerable to chronic ear infections, glue ear, headaches, growing pains and stomach aches. They may be habitual mouth breathers, and suffer from developmental problems such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The child’s posture may suffer too, with the head being held on one side, or one shoulder held higher than the other.
During the teenage years, the body frame undergoes a number of changes. Problems may occur because of an exaggerated spinal curve or because of mechanical changes that occur through osteochondritis – a self-limiting condition that causes a distortion of the bone. Other problems are caused by sporting and recreational activities that carry the risk of sprains and strains.
If these problems are left undiagnosed and untreated they can worsen in later life. Osteopaths can help the body frame adjust to the postural demands made on it. By analysing, treating and managing problems associated with growth, osteopaths make a major contribution to ensuring that young people stay fit and healthy.
Osteopathy can help…
… in issues common to young babies
– crying and irritability, especially when lying down.
– feeding difficulties.
– sickness, colic and wind.
– sleep disturbances.
and in problems found in older children …
– musculo-skeletal problems.
– susceptibility to infections
– ear infection and ‘glue ear’.
– sinus and dental problems,
– behavioural problems and learning difficulties, including poor concentration, fidgeting, difficulty in sitting still and hyperactivity.
– headache, other aches and pains.
– asthma and vulnerability to chest infections.
Osteopathy can also give some help to children suffering from cerebral palsy or Down’s Syndrome.