It is a common belief that babies and children should have no structural stresses or strains in their bodies, because they are 'so young'. The reality is very different. Birth is one of the most stressful events of our lives. The baby is subjected to enormous forces, as the uterus pushes to expel the baby against the natural resistance of the birth canal. The baby has to turn and twist as it squeezes through the bony pelvis, on its short but highly stimulating and potentially stressful journey. The baby's head has a remarkable ability to absorb these stresses in a normal delivery. In order to reduce the size of the head, the soft bones overlap, bend and warp as the baby descends. The baby's chin is normally well tucked down towards its chest to reduce the presenting diameter of the head.
Many babies are born with odd shaped heads as a result of this birth process. In the first few days, the head can usually be seen to gradually lose the extreme moulded shape, as the baby suckles, cries and yawns. However, the unmolding is often incomplete, especially if the birth has been difficult (back to back, transverse or breech). As a result, the baby may have to live with some very uncomfortable stresses within its head and body. A baby cannot complain of backache or headaches and typically express this by crying or by being unsettled or irritable. In a research study carried out by Clive Hayden1 into the effects of cranial osteopathic treatment on babies, some parents perceive the following changes in their childrenís behaviour: reduced colicky crying, improved sleep, less unsettled irritable behaviour and increased quiet happy spells.
As children grow, strains and tensions from accidents, falls and sports injuries can occur.
Paediatric osteopathy is gentle, safe and effective for the above presentations. Very specific, skilled, light pressure is used to initiate the bodyís natural ability to heal itself.
Should you require further information or advice on how osteopathy might be able to help you or your child, please contact us on 01256 884139.
Becky Hall has considerable clinical experience, specialising in the treatment of children. It is not the intention to replace the care of your GP or the medical profession. We positively encourage communication with all health professionals. All registered osteopaths are trained to recognise when it is appropriate to refer patients to their doctors or other professionals so that they may receive further investigation or treatment when necessary. It is our utmost aim to provide the best possible course of action to help meet each individualís needs.
1 Hayden C, Mullinger B 2006 A preliminary assessment of the impact of cranial osteopathy for the relief of infantile colic Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 12, 83-90