Do Children Need Osteopathic Care?
Here at Guy Gold’s we see patients of every age, from babies, children and teenagers to adults, pregnant women and elderly patients. We’re often asked whether children can benefit from Osteopathy – known as paediatric Osteopathy – and the answer is yes!
Many parents (even those who visit their own Osteopath), don’t realise that there is no ‘minimum age’ for Osteopathy - even babies can receive and benefit from Osteopathic treatment. Here’s why Osteopathy is great for patients of all ages.
Why do children need Osteopathy?
Just like adults, children can also be affected by general joint and muscle issues, and during childhood and adolescence, your child’s body is constantly growing and developing. While children’s bodies haven’t yet incurred the usual ‘wear and tear’ that can cause complaints for adults, issues with growth and development that present in childhood and infancy can often lead to postural and health issues later in life. For this reason, Osteopathic care for children focuses on prevention.
Osteopaths look at the structure of the body as a whole, and how this supports overall health and wellness. Fostering an awareness of this in your child from a young age can promote healthy growth and allow you to catch any development issues early on.
Who can Osteopaths help?
Osteopathy for Babies
Babies’ bodies can take on stresses and strains from pregnancy and labour, and Osteopaths will use gentle, holistic techniques to release tensions in the body that may cause issues as your baby grows. They can also help to identify any mobility restrictions in the body that might otherwise go unnoticed until they start walking.
Osteopathy for Toddlers and Children
Osteopathic care can help with motor function and co-ordination as your child learns to move, ensuring your child is supported as they move through the stages of rolling, crawling and walking. As children become more mobile and prone to knocks and bumps, seeing an Osteopath is particularly beneficial after significant falls, to release strains in muscles and tissues and ensure that these don’t lead to postural adaptations in the long term.
As well as the usual postural problems and movement restrictions that Osteopaths often treat in adults, they can also treat common childhood complaints such as glue ear, repeated ear infections, headaches and sleep issues.
Osteopaths may treat children with advice on positioning, posture and exercise, or use gentle hands-on treatment to improve mobility and range of motion.
Osteopathy for Teenagers
Teenage bodies are still experiencing massive growth and development, and at our Camden clinic we also see lots of teenage clients suffering from stress from exams and sports injuries. Osteopathy only supports their physical, cognitive and neurological development, but encourages teens to take an active role in their health and wellbeing.
Is Osteopathy for babies and children safe?
Absolutely! Osteopathy is a holistic approach that looks at the body as a whole with the aim of optimising its systems to promote health and wellbeing. This is a safe and gentle practice that can support children from a very young age. As all Osteopathic treatments are tailored to the individual needs of the patient, this will vary depending on your child’s requirements and stage of development.
The team of Osteopaths at our Camden clinic are highly trained to assess the individual and decide if Osteopathic treatment is suitable. If a medical opinion is necessary, our Osteopaths will always refer you back to your GP and can safely work alongside other medical professionals.
What to expect on your first visit to a Paediatric Osteopath
At your first appointment, your Osteopath will take a thorough medical history for your child. For babies and young children, this will include learning information about the pregnancy and birth, and asking questions about the child’s developmental progress so far. Your Osteopath will then complete an examination to highlight any imbalances or restrictions in the body and determine if Osteopathic care is suitable and supportive for your child. If so, they’ll talk you through a treatment plan (which may involve several visits, but never more than you need) and help with any queries or concerns.
Get in touch today to book a session for your child with one of our friendly and experienced team of Osteopaths at our Camden clinic. They’ll help support your child’s health and wellbeing from an early age, and encourage your child to take an interest in their own health, too.