It is not necessarily true that children are young and flexible enough not to have physical imbalances in their body. Many problems that a child experiences can be related back to the pregnancy, the extreme stress of birth, injury or illness.
During pregnancy, the way the baby lies in the womb, especially in the later stages, can lead to compressions and strains in the body. These stresses and strains may not resolve naturally and could cause discomfort, irritability, colic, vomiting or problems feeding and defecating.
During birth, as the womb pushes to expel the baby, the baby is subjected to enormous forces, against the natural resistance of the birth canal. In addition to this the baby has to twist, turn and squeeze through the bony pelvis, on its highly stimulating and potentially stressful journey. The baby’s head and the strong membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord are able to absorb most of these stresses. As a result, many babies are born with odd shaped heads, which usually resolve in the first few days, as the baby suckles, cries and yawns. However, sometimes this is incomplete; especially if there have been complications during the delivery, such as the use of forceps, ventouse or manual traction. As a result the baby can become irritable and unsettled (among other things) due to the physical discomfort.
Osteopathic treatment soon after birth is recommended and highly beneficial, as birth misalignment becomes progressively more difficult to correct with time.
Injury or illness can also lead to discomfort and irritability. For instance: a child diagnosed with a chest infection will have difficulty breathing, decreasing the venous and lymphatic drainage, leading to congestion in the lungs and surrounding tissues. There will also be a small decrease in the amount of oxygen absorbed, making the body work harder to get it, causing the rib muscles and diaphragm to become tight or restricted. Osteopathic treatment of an injury or illness will promote good blood/nutrient supply and free drainage of waste products away from the area in order to assist the body heal itself effectively. It will decrease the tensions through the ribs and diaphragm, allowing the child to breath properly and resolve any persistent coughs or breathlessness that may be misdiagnosed as asthma.
Osteopathy can help babies & children with:
- Crying, screaming, irritability
- Feeding Difficulties & Teething
- Colic & Wind
- Sickness & Vomiting
- Sleep Disturbances
- Infections – chest, ear, sinus, urinary tract
- Difficulty with defecation
- Skin conditions – eczema & psoriasis
- Behavioural problems & learning difficulties