Osteopathy is a manual medical treatment that helps people to restore the normal function of their bodies without the use of drugs. The cause of an osteopathic problem can be from injury, stress or a disease.
Once a diagnosis has been made, the osteopath uses a combination of gentle pressure and stretching with massage techniques to resolve any tension in the muscles.
Osteopathic treatment helps to release tension in the muscles and joints, freeing blocked arteries and improving lymphatic drainage. This allows tissues to be repaired more quickly and reduces pain levels by removing pressure on nerves.
Osteopathic techniques can also help to stimulate the body’s own natural painkillers, endorphins.
In treating a child or baby with osteopathy, an experienced practitioner will carry out a full examination followed by a treatment plan tailored for the individual.
In addition to the results that may be expected from any form of osteopathy, babies can sometimes be helped by osteopathy when they are recovering from an illness or operation. The gentle treatment can also help to stimulate the child’s development and encourage movement in babies who may be too young for other forms of physical activity like crawling.
Osteopathic treatments are recommended for pregnant women to ensure that they remain healthy during their pregnancy, but osteopathy is not just for adults. It can also help to ease the symptoms of childhood conditions such as asthma, colic and digestive problems.
Osteopathy has also been credited with improving health and well-being by lowering blood pressure levels and reducing stress levels in children.
The treatment of babies should be supervised by an osteopath who has experience of working with children and is registered. They will need careful examination before starting any form of osteopathy for a child, as there are some cases where it is inadvisable, such as when a child has osteogenesis imperfecta or neurofibromatosis.
Osteopaths will also advise on how to stimulate and encourage movement in babies who are developing slowly and may be behind their peers. From about four months old, holding the baby under the arms and encouraging them to kick their legs and move their arms can help to strengthen the muscles.
From about six months, parents should encourage their baby to crawl and to start pulling themselves up on furniture and begin taking steps with the support of a sturdy object such as a sofa or table edge. This type of movement is very important at this stage in a child’s development, so it is advisable for parents to seek advice if they notice that their baby is not performing these activities.
Osteopathy should never be used as an alternative to seeking medical care and it may not be suitable for children suffering from osteomyelitis or scoliosis, so osteopaths will need to assess the child’s condition before beginning treatment. Contact our team at Deep 6 Osteopathy in Black Rock to find out more about how we can help your baby.