Babies and Children
Osteopathy for babies
Few births are truly easy, so parents are keen to ensure that the new baby is doing well in the early weeks and months of life. Babies have many changes to deal with in terms of settling into life outside the womb and feeding. Osteopathy can often help. It is a real privilege to be asked to treat a baby and at Woburn Osteopaths we aim to see new families getting off to a good start.
An osteopathic treatment with a new baby will involve a gentle but thorough review of the baby’s well-being. We often meet new parents and babies reporting signs and symptoms including (but not limited to):
- Persistent crying
- Digestive issues
- Inability to relax
- Sleep issues
Osteopathy for older children
Osteopathy can help to reduce joint pain in children if they the experience a rapid growth spurt. By using gentle stretching and massage to reduce any tension around the joints and advising on activity and sports, this postural discomfort can sometimes be reduced. For very sporty children who may have sports injuries, a combination of treatment and the correct advice on training and rehabilitation is often helpful.
Osteopathic treatment is used with the underlying principle that the structure and the function of the body are intimately related. If a postural or structural imbalance develops, it can adversely affect the body’s function (e.g. a knee injury may result in compensation patterns developing, leading to pain or discomfort elsewhere in the body). All children will therefore have their overall posture checked during an osteopathic consultation, not just the site of injury.
Older children may present to us with:
- General aches and pains
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Hip, knee, ankle and foot pain
- Elbow, wrist and hand pain
- Problems associated with orthodontic appliances (e.g. headaches, face, neck and back pain)
- Minor sports injuries
- Digestive problems
- Inability to relax
Teenagers may get aches and pains for two key reasons – their posture and mobility. Examples of daily risk factors are:
- Carrying heavy school bags
- Sitting at school desks and stools for prolonged periods
- Increased sporting activities and injuries
- Increased use of computers and computer games
- Puberty / hormonal changes and growth spurts
- Growing pains (muscular pain, osteochondritis)
- Stress / educational demands / emotional worries
- Poor posture
Our aim is to help the baby’s body to make its own changes in response to treatment. We may use gentle soft tissue massage and joint articulation to increase the blood flow and stimulate the nerve supply to all the tissues of the body. In addition, cranial osteopathy is a very safe, gentle and non-manipulative form of treatment that we regularly use with babies and older children.
Reactions to treatment are variable, often the baby or child is very relaxed afterwards and sleeps well. Others have a burst of energy after treatment, usually followed by a good night’s sleep. Occasionally children are unsettled after treatment. This is a temporary situation and usually clears within 24-48 hours.
A typical treatment plan is 2-4 appointments.