Osteopathy for Children
Osteopathy for Children
“Kids are made of rubber, they don’t need to see an Osteopath!”
This is a very common belief throughout the adult population, and to a degree there is some truth in it. Children have amazing resilience and healing abilities. Compared with most adults, they have far better muscular flexibility and joint range of motion – but many things can go wrong.
Children, unlike adults, haven’t got years of experience to compare when something isn’t working properly – so they often just put up with it. We have seen babies who will only turn their head one direction, children with thumbs that won’t straighten and lower backs like concrete – yet they push on without a complaint. The positive side of this though, is that it usually only takes one or two treatments to fix these issues as children don’t dwell on previous pain and move forward very quickly.
The birth process can be very traumatic for a baby and often the use of instruments or just the birth itself can strain their little bodies – particularly necks. Common symptoms of neck strain are difficulty feeding and a restless/unsettled baby. After birth, babies can develop Colic, reflux, and bowel irritability. Feeding is often the main area of focus here but reducing tension in the lower back is also very effective in combination.
As children get older, they get very active and learn the boundaries the hard way. Muscular and joint strains are more common than we expect and can lead to poor postural habits and inefficient movement patterns if ignored.
Easily the most common complaint we see in young teenagers is Osgood Schlatter’s Disease (Knee Tendonitis) because they are very active and will not complain about the pain until it is extreme. Rest from activity is imperative to cure this but very difficult to do with a young, highly active child. Increasing muscular flexibility is the key to rehabilitation and the most common method of prevention.
A common saying that patients will hear from us is “An influential Dentist has programmed us to clean our teeth every day from childhood, but no one has made us stretch every day”. The result of this is stretching has become an inconvenience and only occurs out of necessity. If we were able to encourage our children to stretch every night before they went to sleep, the burden of stretching would not occur and they would be much better prepared for the rigors and strains of a repetitive lifestyle ahead.
Our Osteopaths are well-trained and experienced in treating children gently, safely and effectively. Kids are made of rubber, but things can go wrong!