It is a common belief that babies and children do not suffer from functional stresses and strains like adults do, however this is simply not the case! Musculoskeletal tension can cause tension and discomfort at any age. Osteopaths believe that the healthy balance and function of the musculoskeletal framework of the body is essential to whole body health and this principle is no different when it comes to babies and children!
Dysfunction or strain patterns present can affect a growing child’s posture and how they move. Babies are not physically able to tell us where it hurts and why, that is why their pain or discomfort can manifest in the form of crying, sleep disturbances and/or difficulties in feeding. Unlike older children who can effectively communicate when they are experiencing pain, younger children, infants and toddlers can express discomfort through more complex ways such as changes in behaviour and development.
Mary Lennon (BSc, PG Cert Paed Ost) holds a specialist postgraduate qualification in paediatric osteopathy. She has a special interest in the treatment of babies and children and has for some time now, worked alongside local health visitors, midwifes and lactation consultants providing osteopathic treatment as an adjunct.
What happens during treatment?
Osteopaths recognize that there may be a multitude of contributing factors relating to dysfunction. Mary will take you through a full case history of your baby/child, asking you a variety of questions relating to your baby’s overall health and development. These may include feeding patterns, developmental growth, your pregnancy history, birth history, sleeping patterns and playing/socialisation skills to name a few.
A comprehensive musculoskeletal examination of your baby or child will then be carried out. Mary will use her skills of assessment and palpation to help identify the source of stress or dysfunction. Depending on what the case history and examination finds, a diagnosis and proposed treatment plan will be discussed. Paediatric osteopathy is based on providing patients with gentle and effective techniques including cranial osteopathy as a non-invasive form of treatment effective for all paediatric patients, from the smallest of babies up to teenagers.
Mary always strives to ensure that your baby or child receives the best form of care available to them. She will sometimes refer paediatric patients to other healthcare professionals alongside osteopathic treatment to ensure the best quality of care is being provided.