Children & Teens
The Growing Child
During the journey from infant to adult, children experience a huge number of changes and challenges. Toddlers whilst learning to walk sustain some pretty severe falls and bumps to the head. After they learn to walk there is running and so on.
While it is not necessary to go to an osteopath for every trip and bruise that happens, it is important to maintain regular check-ups to allow the body to compensate for all the growing and falling that they do. The less restrictions in the body, the more they can cope with any accident or trauma.
Additionally the young body’s rapid growth can create or contribute to problems associated with bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves. Other issues faced by children include posture problems, inflammatory conditions and sporting injuries.
Osteopathic checking and monitoring of childhood development is one of the best ways of reducing the risk of musculoskeletal and other general health problems going undetected and causing difficulties later in life. Prevention is always better than cure, and osteopathic treatment for children can play just as big a part as dental and eye checks in maintaining the exuberant good health that should be an integral part of growing up.
No one understands the cause of growing pains but they are a very real phenomena. The pain is not in the joints, nor are the joints hot or swollen as they are with a more serious condition such as arthritis or joints strains. It is often relieved by rubbing the affected part.
Growing pains often start immediately before bedtime although often they occur later in the night.
Children can wake complaining of severe pains in their limbs – mostly in their legs. Usually these are in the front of the thighs, calves or behind the knees. Usually, both legs hurt.
If your child is suffering from growing pains then Osteopathy can help by stretching the affected muscles. We will also investigate and treat any other underlying issues that are causing muscle tightness such as restricted pelvic mobility and give advice on stretching at home.
Dentists and Osteopaths are working together more and more nowadays. This makes great sense, because there is a fundamental relationship between proper, balanced movement in the face and mouth and in the rest of the body. In other words, there is a body attached to the head!.
Cranial Osteopathy has a defined role in treating the causes of dental problems. This, when combined with skillful orthopaedic orthodontic treatment from dentists, can optimise teeth position working WITH the function of the cranial bones and body as a whole. This can make the process quicker and avoid possible side-effects.
Other areas where Osteopathy can help with dentistry is when dental appliances and cross and bridge work are causing headache or jaw pain – Osteopathy can help the body adapt to these appliances.
The enormous changes going on in the body throughout the teen years can lead to developmental problems and musculoskeletal pain. These changes, combined with the increase in high impact, strenuous sporting activity and degeneration in posture (teenage slump) often means pain in joints and muscles, or the origin of the bad habits that cause problems in later years.
It is doubly important to look after the body during this time. Treatment is beneficial for the pain being suffered at the time and to help prevent problems in the future. We all develop a pattern of movement and compensation and this determines the problems that will trouble us throughout life. The origin for this pattern and the most effective time to treat it is during childhood.
Medical Conditions and Behavioural issues
Osteopathy is also of great value for the treatment of more serious medical conditions in children, either on its own or in conjunction with general practitioners or specialists. The treatment of asthma, hay fever, coughs, and recurrent respiratory, bladder, sinus, ear, eye or bowel conditions are commonplace and successful.
More severe conditions, such as learning difficulties, autism, developmental disorders and cerebral palsy, react very well to osteopathic treatment. A study of 203 school children in the USA showed a definite relationship between behavioural problems and learning difficulties and restrictions in the skull. The more normal the physical form, the more normal the function will be.