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Children and Babies

Osteopathy recognises the particular stresses on the body children experience as they grow from babies to teenagers, and has developed an approach to work with children of all ages.

A range of problems may interfere with the normal development of a child. Childhood accidents and falls, or simply 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.

An osteopath will work with you and your child to plan the best way forward. The osteopath will take a complete medical history, conduct an examination, and ask you and your child questions. Your osteopath and you can determine which type of osteopathic treatment is suitable, and if referrals to other health practitioners are needed. Your osteopath can also offer advice on nutrition, general health, posture and exercise. 

Conditions that osteopaths treat in children and teenagers include*:

  • back pain and headaches
  • growing pains in muscles, bones and joints
  • postural problems including curvature of the spine
  • period pain
  • walking difficulties or foot pain
  • sporting injuries
  • the physical effects of cerebral palsy

Osteopathic care is gentle without the use of drugs or surgery. It can assist the young body to adapt to growth-related changes which can prevent other health problems. It can help your baby grow into a healthy child and, ultimately, a healthy young adult.

Osteopaths treat babies, children and teenagers for a range of conditions. Effective, early treatment can prevent other problems from occurring. 

*Research and Evidence

Natalie M. Hayes, DO; Todd A. Bezilla, DO

Published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, October 2006, Vol. 106, 605-608.

Osteopathic manipulative treatment appears to be a safe treatment modality in the pediatric population when administered by physicians with expertise in osteopathic manipulative treatment. Future studies should be prospective and include larger numbers of patients to document the safety of osteopathic manipulative treatment in this clinical application.

Steele KM, Carreiro JE, Viola JH, Conte JA, Ridpath LC.

Published in the Journal of American Osteopathic Association

A standardized osteopathic manipulative treatment protocol administered adjunctively with standard care for patients with acute otitis media may result in faster resolution of middle ear effusion following acute otitis media than standard treatment alone.

Mills MV, Henley CE, Barnes LL, Carreiro JE, Degenhardt BF.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2003 Sep;157(9):861-6

The results of this study suggest a potential benefit of osteopathic manipulative treatment as adjuvant therapy in children with recurrent AOM; it may prevent or decrease surgical intervention or antibiotic overuse.

F.Cerritelli, G.Pizzolorusso, C.Renzetti, V.Cozzolino, M.D’Orazio, M.Lupacchini, B.Marinelli, Alessandro A.C.Lucci, J.Lancellotti, S.Ballabio, C.Castelli, D.Molteni, R.Besana, L.Tubaldi, F.Paolo Perri, P.Fusilli, C.D’Incecco, G.Barlafante

Published in PLOS ONE | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0127370

Osteopathic treatment reduced significantly the number of days of hospitalization and is cost-effective on a large cohort of preterm infants.

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