Infant’s and children’s bodies are very flexible, newly strong and less prone to the strains and injuries of an adult. They usually heal quickly and are also growing new tissue and bone at a rapid rate, well into their teen years. Why would they require osteopathy treatment?
Infancy & childhood is the perfect time to introduce an osteopathic, holistic approach to maintaining good health & wellness.
Let’s start with birth. Birth is often a very stressful event, certainly for the mother, but definitely for the baby. As the mum’s uterus squeezes her baby through the birth canal, the still-soft bones of the skull may overlap or ‘mould’, changing shape.
The kinds of delivery where strain is more likely to persist include uncommon womb positions (ie, breech or back-to-back lie), very quick or difficult & long labour, vacuum or forceps deliveries, breech & face presentations, and premature deliveries.
Osteopathic practitioners believe that many of these situations can cause restrictions in the normal function of a baby’s body. This can eventually lead to a misshapen skull, ear infections, persistent reflux or vomiting, colic, difficulty when feeding and bringing up wind, irritability and poor sleep patterns.
Children are extremely resilient — usually they quickly recover & heal from injuries. But from an osteopathic standpoint, a child’s body can sometimes retain the ‘stress pattern’ of the injury, just like a grown adult.
For example, if your child falls and injures their leg, imbalance occurs between their two limbs, pelvic & spinal motion, etc, during the healing process. Over time, this can damage their ‘unaffected’ leg, as well as optimal functioning of the hips and spine.
Without adequate intervention, a child’s body may unsuccessfully compensate for the results of the initial trauma (again, just as an adult body can do). Over time this could “lock-up” their ability to bounce back from future injuries & strains, and also set up a less-than-optimal pattern of healing.