Osteopathy - Treatment for Babies and Children
Gaby Nowak has a special interest in treating babies and children and has seen many over her years of experience as an Osteopath.
At St Kilda Osteopathy we treat babies as well as toddlers, children, teens, and adults. We are not "specialists" in paediatrics as the term "specialist" is protected by Australian Law, however we see patients of all ages at our clinic.
Osteopathy offers "hands-on" treatment for your baby, toddler or child. This treatment may help with musculoskeletal components related to why your child may be unsettled. Whether there is a specific issue, or you just feel things are not quite right in areas such as digestion, sleep, or movements, St Kilda Osteopathy may be able to help your baby from underlying muscle, joint and connective tissue strains. Some common causes for an unsettled baby may include (but not be limited to):
- a traumatic birth - from the use of forceps or vontouse delivery,
- position in utero,
- underlying gastrointestinal system immaturity,
- congenital issues such as hip dysplasia or talipes of the feet, and muscle and joint strains.
Common signs and symptoms of an unsettled baby from underlying musculoskeletal issues may include, but not be limited to:
Colic like discomfort which includes high pitch screaming and lots of crying
Reflux and digestion issue
Constipation and lots of trapped wind
Feeding difficulties including:
- suckling poorly
- latching on to the breast or bottle poorly
- taking in a lot of air while feeding
- clicking sounds while feeding
Wry neck (neck rotation inclined to one direction only)
Flat head (plagiocephaly)
Hip dysfunction (developmental congenital hip dysplasia) and associated issues with this presentation - and please note not all DDH of the hip will need surgery - many do not! http://www.rch.org.au/kidsinfo/fact_sheets/Developmental_dysplasia_of_the_hip_DDH_treatment_and_hospital_stay/
Talipes equino varus/valgus and associated issues with this presentation http://video.rch.org.au/ortho/fact_sheets/CLUBFOOT.pdf
Sleep disturbances, poor sleeping from musculoskeletal complaints above
Toddlers May present to us with:
Crawling and Postural Related Issues:
Tip Toe Walking: http://activebabiessmartkids.com.au/articles/tip-toe-walking-normal/
Please note...There is absolutely NO MANIPULATION and NO CRACKING of any joints or soft tissue in babies or children. As with each adult patient, and with your consent, a thorough history and examination is performed on your child, to arrive at a working diagnosis which then enables an appropriate treatment and management plan. We use many gentle techniques when treating babies and children, which may include cranial osteopathy, to address the presenting complaint.
Research and evidence for osteopathic treatment of babies is limited however, here are some links which may be of interest:
Osteopathic Treatment in Paediatric Patients by Experienced Osteopaths: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17122030
For Placiocephaly (flat head): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16359587, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21982132, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18381343 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16648087
For length of stay in hospital for unsettled and premature babies: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3648440/
Referral to a General Practitioner, Paediatrician, Maternal Child Health Nurse or appropriate Specialist may still be needed before or after your appointment with your osteopath.
We have many GP and Paediatricians we can recommend to you as well.