Osteopaths are interested in helping children develop in a balanced and healthy way to help them achieve their full potential. Osteopaths believe that imbalances, strains and restrictions in the musculoskeletal framework of the child can not only cause discomfort, but also influence normal growth and development in many different ways.
Children are naturally active and often have minor falls that can upset the physical balance of the body. It can be of benefit for your child to have an osteopathic assessment following a fall, especially where there has been a head injury or fall onto the spine/bottom. Children do not need treatment for every minor bump, bruise, and have an amazing ability to bounce back, but occasionally a child has a particularly nasty fall where perhaps they are stunned or badly shocked. After the fall, the parent may notice that the child is irritable, or a change in their sleep pattern or the child may succumb to an infection.
Children may complain of aches and pains in different parts of their body including headaches. Osteopaths take this seriously. There is usually a reason for it and an osteopathic assessment can detect areas of tension and strain that are causing the pain.
Osteopaths are experts as assessing posture and monitoring development of the spine. Children often grow sporadically (growth spurts) and areas of imbalance or asymmetry in the body that may have been present from birth can become exaggerated, particularly during growth spurts. It is common for one leg to be longer than the other and this had to be accommodated by a change in the posture of pelvis and spine. Osteopathic treatment can help the pelvis and spine to develop in a balanced way to reduce the likelihood of back problems later on in life.
Young people especially are vulnerable in sport as their growing bodies are often expected to preform to high standards and they put exceptional physical demands on themselves. The good news is that although sports injuries are common, those who are fit tend to recover more quickly and easily from their injuries.
Older children and teenagers often have poor posture, from slouching in chairs, on tablets or phones for many hours at a time with hunched shoulders. This can cause areas of tension in the spine. Carrying heavy school bags can further increase pressure on the spine and can contribute to aches and pains. Osteopaths encourage children and teenagers to be as physically active as possible to maintain good muscle tone to support the spine.
Teenagers have a lot to cope with, their bodies are changing rapidly with growth and hormonal changes and there are many social and educational challenges. The constant cycle of exams and school pressure leads to a build-up of physical tension in the body, which may cause a variety of symptoms such as back and neck pain and tension headaches.
Parents know their child better than anyone. If you are concerned about your child, notice changes in general health and wellbeing, they are complaining of pain or appear ‘out of sorts’ then it is worth considering consulting an osteopath. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact.