Osteopathy for Children
Osteopathic treatment of Kids
Children have developing bodies and their own individual health needs that may be assisted with treatment from an Osteopath. Most children have many knocks and fall especially toddlers and this is a normal part of learning new skills. This normal process can at times lead to muscular aches and pains, strains and joint sprains in their bodies, which may benefit from treatment. In addition, we see children who need post-surgical rehabilitation or have chronic health conditions that benefit from ongoing assistance and support. Children from the Yarra Valley and surrounds have been having osteopathic treatment at Koru since 2012. Some of our current patients first came to us as a baby.
Don’t ignore “growing pains”
As children grow, they may participate in more adventurous outdoor activities. They may increase participation in contact sport while concurrently growing at changing rates. Kids are more likely to start complaining of “growing pains.” We feel it is important to let you know, that “growing pains” is not a term supported by scientific evidence. Please do not put your child’s pain or discomfort down to this. It is possible your child is struggling with adaptation, with the influence of stress, growth, activity, and or nutrition needs. However, your little one should be assessed by a qualified health care practitioner who is able to make a diagnosis. Growing pains, otherwise known as benign nocturnal limb pain is considered to be a diagnosis of exclusion. This is when no other cause of the pain can be found.
Children who come in maybe developing scoliosis or have an underlying injury. Dehydration is common and can be related to issues such as cramps. Soft tissue and joint injuries are surprisingly common and occur more frequently in children than adults. Serious soft tissue injury which has previously only been considered to be adult issues are on the rise. Examples include anterior cruciate ligament rupture and spinal injuries such as disc bulges. These complaints occur in the younger population and may benefit from osteopathic care. It is important that your practitioner has a comprehensive understanding of pediatric assessment and treatment of younger bodies, as they have their own unique qualities and can not be considered to be little adults.
It is important to formulate a diagnosis, then an appropriate treatment and management plan can be developed. This may include a combination of hands-on osteopathic care, simple exercises, lifestyle, and general health advice.
Teenagers have their own special health needs and many struggles with their changing bodies. Under some circumstances, they may need to disrobe in order for adequate assessment. We find they are often comforted by the fact they can often be assessed and treated by keeping their clothes on.
As health professionals, we must always obtain informed consent. We require a parent or legal guardian to be available for all appointments. At times it may be appropriate to have a portion of the consultation without the parent or guardian present and we wish to express that this provides the opportunity for open communication between the practitioner and patient.
Depending on your child’s age in conjunction with their social, emotional, and cognitive development, the time will come when they are able to determine the appropriate health care for their own body.
When this time comes, your child will be able to make medical decisions for themselves. In this circumstance, the appointment is confidential and information can only be disclosed to a parent with the consent of the patient. This is regardless of who is paying the bill. We trust you will be understanding in these circumstances.
Osteopathy can be helpful for a number of complaints affecting children and their health. Children of school age may be treated by all our Osteopaths, whereas younger children can be seen by Prue Eddie and Courtney Maxwell.