Treating Babies with Osteopathy
Updated: Sep 26
Every parent’s priority is to provide the best environment to support their child’s health as they develop and grow. Osteopathic practice is safe and effective. Children’s requirements differ depending on the stage of their development. As they grow from infants, toddlers, children to teenagers, your osteopath will consider your child’s individual needs, age and stage of development, and adapt their advice and treatment accordingly.
How can your osteopath help?
Parents visit osteopaths for a range of reasons to support their child’s health. Osteopathic techniques are suitable for children at all stages of development and we will assess your child to see what might help. Children, like adults, can be affected by general joint and muscle issues, which is one of the reasons people visit an osteopath. Parents will also take their children to visit an osteopath for a variety of other health reasons that may benefit from osteopathic care.
As osteopathy is based on the individual needs of the patient, it will vary depending on your child’s age and the diagnosis.
Osteopaths generally use a wide range of gentle hands-on techniques that focus on releasing tension, improving mobility and optimising function. This is often used together with exercise and helpful advice.
Our osteopaths have been trained in very gentle techniques which are particularly suitable to assess and treat very young children, including new-borns. Babies’ skeletons are softer than an adult’s and gentler techniques, such as cranial osteopathy, are used when treating babies. Such gentle manipulation can also help soothe and relax your baby. Techniques will be tailored to your child’s’ needs and everything will be fully explained throughout.
Babies and younger children
Babies can be subject to enormous forces when they are born, twisting and turning as they make their way out to the outside world. This can mean a lot of stress and pressure, particularly on baby’s head and neck. This pressure can be relieved by the non-invasive healing effects of cranial osteopathy. The osteopath feels for tension in the tissues and then holds the tissue in a way that the body wants it to go until it releases. This allows the body to calm itself and become more relaxed. Osteopaths can make baby or toddler’s head and spine more comfortable by using gentle manipulation.
Cranial osteopathy is particularly effective on newborns and young babies, as their skull bones are not yet fused. This treatment essentially seeks to correct any damage or slight alterations caused during childbirth, and is particularly relevant if it was an assisted delivery, or particularly fast. We will also check baby’s neck, shoulders, jaw, diaphragm, rib cage, spine and hips during assessment and treatment.
In older children, problems might arise though excessive computer use, hunching over a laptop, or through carrying heavy bags to and from school. Some children may suffer with minor sports injuries. We can help to reduce those injuries and aim to develop strategies with your child to help prevent them from recurring. Most children enjoy treatment and a growing awareness for their health educates them early to look after themselves.