By Kirby Edwards
What would a child need to see an osteopath?
Children are very resilient and often bounce back from injuries quite well. However, sometimes problems earlier in life can lead to discomfort later on. This may include postural issues, movement, breathing, overall development and re-occurring infections. We aim to release any tension or strains in the tissues to prevent any compensatory changes throughout their prime growing time.
What can an osteopath do for older children and toddlers?
Osteopaths can assist with:
As the children transition from adolescent to teenage years – traumas that the child may have experienced can become more obvious with the influence of hormones and onset of puberty. Some of the changes that you may notice include scoliosis, headaches, poor concentration, brain fog.
How do you treat a child?
Before we begin hands-on therapy, we will talk to the parents about the pregnancy, birth, medical history of the baby and family, feeding and digestion, sleep patterns and movements of the baby to gain as much information as we can as well as answer any questions you have. When we place our hands on, we will assess how the body is generally moving, respiration, movement of the cranial bones of the skull and specific muscle or joint issues. We will then discuss a treatment plan which may include some referrals, homework or exercises as well as potentially some lifestyle or diet changes.
The treatment will depend on what the child/toddler presents with, their personality and what age they are. There may be a gentler approach – similar to the one we have with babies where we avoid any sharp manipulations or firm treatment and approach the toddler or child using cranial osteopathy or working with the fluid dynamics of the body to release any tissues that are under tension and restore optimal balance.
If they are a little older, we may use some other techniques such as METs (muscle energy techniques) or other techniques which we will discuss with the child and parent before performing.
What is cranial osteopathy?
This is a gentle hands-on treatment that helps the body to find better balance and optimise movement. Osteopaths are trained to develop their palpation skills. With Osteopathy in the Cranial Field (OCF) we are trained to feel subtle motion in the whole body. This is called the Primary Respiratory Mechanism (PRM). Although the name is ‘cranial,’ this mechanism can be felt and worked on from anywhere in the body. One of the principles of Osteopathy is that it is all connected. Osteopaths see connections between different parts of the body and by working with this principle aim to optimise the body’s function. OCF is a subtle refined approach that can affect all systems of the body aiming to restore balance and health. Cranial Osteopathy can be of benefit for everyone, but due to its gentle effective approach is ideal for babies and children.
What can I expect post treatment?
As with any treatment for anyone, there is an adjustment period to the new balanced normal. Each toddler or child (any person) can react differently, but often they are very sleepy, hungry or maybe a little agitated. It can take between 1-3 days to settle down, although for some may settle down straight away. Feel free to give us a call if you have any questions.
Some injuries/traumas may need to be assessed by the emergency or a doctor. After serious illness or injury has been excluded, Osteopathy may be able to assist to get your child back on track. If your child has had a trauma and has any of the following:
Please take your child to emergency or a doctor. Some things are out of the scope of Osteopathy and need medical attention as soon as possible.
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