Nillumbik Osteopathic Health Centre

Infants, children & adolescents

Infants and young children
Osteopathy is a manual treatment for infants and young children. Sometimes birthing may be a difficult process and if unresolved trauma results then some musculoskeletal problems may occur. A baby’s head is soft and pliable at birth, as the bones haven’t yet fully developed. This flexibility allows the baby to exit the birth canal, but in the case of birth trauma it may also contribute to problems that may unsettle a baby such as feeding difficulties (66,67,68) and asymmetrical neck movements (64, 65). Parents may also have concerns in relation to joint movements.

A comprehensive case history is taken before any treatment commences and an examination of the infant or young child is performed. This includes routine medical tests and osteopathic assessment. This will allow our osteopaths to determine if osteopathic treatment is appropriate or if a referral may be necessary.

Our osteopaths are trained to identify strain patterns throughout the whole body (including the spine and cranium). They aim to treat functional disturbances in the whole body to help it function more efficiently, rather than simply treating the symptoms.

Our osteopaths may be able to assist with:

  • Digestive issues (86, 88) eg. Reflux (67) and colic (62, 63)
  • Feeding difficulties eg. sucking and attachment problems (66, 67, 68)
  • Asymmetry in movement – preference to turn head to one side only leading to a flattening of the skull on one side (Plagiocephaly) (64, 65)
  • Recurrent infections eg. ear infections (78, 79) and respiratory issues (75, 76, 113, 114, 115)
  • Joint concerns – restriction in movement, clicking or excessive movement
  • Rehabilitation for musculoskeletal symptoms post Caesarian or difficult deliveries.

Older children and adolescents
As children grow from babies to teenagers, their bodies go through rapid changes. These changes can place considerable stress on the body, particularly if there are underlying musculoskeletal problems preventing normal development. A growing concern is the increasing postural problems facing younger children and adolescents due to poorly fitted and heavy school backpacks, frequent use of computers and hand-held games and poor postural awareness.

Musculoskeletal problems may result from growth-related stresses and strains, childhood accidents and falls, infections or inflammatory conditions, genetic disorders, sporting injuries and postural strains. Osteopathy may assist a child’s young body to adapt to growth-related changes. And the earlier a problem is treated, the better as the area of dysfunction hasn’t had time to establish compensations.

Our osteopaths may be able to help with:

  • Recurrent ear infections (“glue ear”) – this may lead to hearing issues (78, 79)
  • Musculoskeletal effects associated with recurrent upper respiratory tract infections (76)
  • Musculoskeletal effects associated with asthma (75)
  • Sinus congestion/problems (131)
  • Headaches (36, 37, 38)
  • Postural problems eg. Scoliosis or asymmetries (64, 65, 103)
  • Back & neck pain (156)
  • Period pain (95, 96)
  • Sporting injuries (80, 89)
  • Walking difficulties (80, 89, 90, 100, 101)
  • Physical effects of cerebral palsy (71, 72, 73, 74) or other genetic and acquired conditions (69, 70, 87)

A comprehensive case history is taken before any treatment commences and an examination of the child or adolescent is performed. This includes routine medical tests and osteopathic assessment. This will allow our osteopaths to determine if osteopathic treatment is appropriate or if a referral may be necessary. Our osteopaths will also offer advice on posture, exercise, nutrition and general health.

36. Steinbauer U., Roos S., Amann P., Schweria F. & Resch K.L. (2008). “Do osteopathic treatments improve the symptoms of headache and/or sinus pressure in patients with chronic rhino sinusitis (CRS)? A randomized controlled trial”. International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine Vol 11(4); 157.
37. Anderson R.E. & Seniscal C. (2006). “A comparison of selected osteopathic treatment and relaxation for tension-type headaches.” Headache Sep: 46(8): 1273-80.
38. Cerritelli F., Lacorte E., Ruffini E. & Vanacore N. (2017). “Osteopathy for primary headache patients: a systematic review.” J.Pain Res. 10; 601-11.
62. Dobson D., Lucassen P.L., Miller J.J. Vlieger A.M., Prescott P. & Lewith G. (2012). “Manipulative therapies for infantile colic.” Cochrane Database Syst Rev. Dec 12; 12.
63. Hayden C. & Mullinger B. (2006). “A preliminary assessment of the impact of cranial osteopathy for the relief of infantile colic.” Complement Ther Clin Pract May; 12(2):83-90.
64. Boscarino S., Savoia V. & La Viola. (2008). “Torticollis, facial asymmetry and positional plagiocephaly in normal newborns: Osteopathic treatment experience.” Early Human Development, Vol 84; S22-S22.
65. Lessard S, Gagnon I, Trottier N. (2011) “Exploring the impact of osteopathic treatment on cranial asymmetries associated with nonsynostotic plagiocephaly in infants.”Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice Nov; 17(4):193-8.
66. Douglas P. & Keogh R. (2017). “Gestalt Breastfeeding: Helping Mothers and Infants Optimize Positional Stability and Intraoral Breast Tissue Volume for Effective, Pain-Free Milk Transfer.” Journal of Human Lactation, Vol 33(3): 509-18.
67. Scott A. Siegel (2016). “Aerophagia Induced Reflux in Breastfeeding Infants with Ankyloglossia and Shortened Maxillary Labial Frenula (Tongue and Lip Tie)”. Int J Clin Pediatr; 5(1):6-8.
68. Herzhaft-Le Roy J , Xhignesse M , Gaboury I. (2017). “Efficacy of an Osteopathic Treatment Coupled With Lactation.” Hum Lact. Feb; 33(1):165-172.
69. Kratz S.V., Kerr J. & Porter L. (2017). “The use of CranioSacral therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorders: Benefits from the viewpoints of parents,clients, and therapists.” Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies, Vol 21(1); 19-29.
70. Accorsi A, Lucci C, Di Mattia L, Granchelli C, Barlafante G, Fini F, Pizzolorusso G, Cerritelli F, Pincherle M (2014). “Effect of osteopathic manipulative therapy in the attentive performance of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.” J Am Osteopath Assoc May; 114(5):374-81.
71. Wyatt K, Edwards V, Franck L, Britten N, Creanor S, Maddick A, Logan S. (2011) “Cranial osteopathy for children with cerebral palsy: a randomised controlled trial.” Archives of Disease in Childhood Jun 96(6):505-12.
72. Tarsuslu T, Bol H & Toylan S. (2009) “The Effects of Osteopathic Treatment on Constipation in Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Pilot Study” Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Vol 32(8) Oct, 648-53.
73. Duncan B, McDonough-Means S, Worden K, Schnyer R, Andrews J, Meaney FJ. (2008). “Effectiveness of osteopathy in the cranial field and myofascial release versus acupuncture as complementary treatment for children with spastic cerebral palsy: a pilot study.” J Am Osteopath Assoc Oct; 108(10):559-70.
74. Monaco A, Cozzolino V, Cattaneo R, Cutilli T, Spadaro A. (2008) “Osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) effects on mandibular kinetics: kinesiographic study.” Eur J Paediatr Dent Mar; 9(1):37-42.
75. Guiney PA, Chou R, Vianna A, Lovenheim J. (2005). “Effects of osteopathic manipulative treatment on pediatric patients with asthma: a randomized controlled trial.” J Am Osteopath Assoc Jan; 105(1):7-12.
76. Pepino VC, Ribeiro JD, Ribeiro MA, de Noronha M, Mezzacappa MA, Schivinski CI. (2013). “Manual therapy for childhood respiratory disease: a systematic review.” Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Jan; 36(1):57-65.
78. Mills MV, Henley CE, Barnes LL, Carreiro JE, Degenhardt BF. (2003). “The use of osteopathic manipulative treatment as adjuvant therapy in children with recurrent acute otitis media.” Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med Sep; 157(9):861-6.
79. Steele K.M., Carreiro J.E., Viola J.H., Conte J.A., Ridpath L.C. (2014). “Effect of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment on Middle Ear Effusion Following Acute Otitis Media in Young Children: A Pilot Study.” The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, June, Vol. 114, 436-447.
80. Bolin D.J. (2010). “The Application of Osteopathic Treatments to Pediatric Sports Injuries”. Pediatric Clinics of North America, Vol 57(3), 775-794.
86. Haiden N., Pimpel B., Kreissl A., Jilma B., & Berger A. (2015). “Does Visceral Osteopathic Treatment Accelerate Meconium Passage in Very Low Birth Weight Infants? – A Prospective Randomized Controlled Trial.” PLoS One. 10(4): e0123530.
87. Bramati-Casterllarin I., Patel V.B. & Drysdale I.P. (2016). “Repeat-measures longitudinal study evaluating behavioural and gastrointestinal symptoms in children with autism before, during and after visceral osteopathic technique (VOT).” Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies, Vol 20(3): 461-70.
88. Iacono G, Merolla R, D’Amico D, Bonci E, Cavataio F, Di Prima L, et al. “Gastrointestinal symptoms in infancy: a population-based prospective study”. Digestive and Liver Disease 2005; 37(6):432-8.
89. Yen,Y-M. (2014). “Assessment and treatment of knee pain in the child and adolescent athlete.” Pediatric Clinics of North America, Vol 61(6): 1155-73.
90. Aiyer A. & Hennrikus W. (2014). “Foot pain in the child and adolescent.” Pediatric Clinics of North America, Vol 61(6):1185-1205.
95. Schwerla F., Wirthwein P., Rütz M. & Resch K-L. (2014). “Osteopathic treatment in patients with primary dysmenorrhoea: A randomised controlled trial”. International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine, Vol 17(4), 222-231.
96. Sillem M., Juhasz-Böss I., Klausmeier I., Mechsner S., Siedentopf F., & Solomayer E. (2016). “Osteopathy for Endometriosis and Chronic Pelvic Pain – a Pilot Study.” Geburtshilfe Frauenheilkd. Sep; 76(9): 960–963.
100. Celik D. Kus G. & Sirma S.O. (2016). “Joint Mobilization and Stretching Exercise vs Steroid Injection in the Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis: A Randomized Controlled Study.” Foot Ankle Int Feb; 37(2): 150-6.
101. Santos B.D. Correa L.A. Teixeira Santos L., Filho N.A., Lemos T. & Nogueira L.A. (2016). “Combination of Hip Strengthening and Manipulative Therapy for the Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis: A Case Report.” J Chiropr Med Dec; 15(4): 310-13.
103. Laessoe U., Barth L., Skeie S. & McGirr K. (2017). “Manipulation of the body schema – Unilateral manual stimulation of lower extremity influences weight distribution in standing position.” Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies, Vol 21(3): 612-617.
113. Gonzalez-Alvarez F.J., Valenza M.C., Cabrera-Martos, I., Torres-Sanchez I. & Valenza-Demet G. (2015). “Effects of a diaphragm stretching technique on pulmonary function in healthy participants: A randomized-controlled trial.” International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine, Vol 18(1): 5-12.
114. Engel R.M. & Vemulpad S. (2007). “The Effect of Combining Manual Therapy with Exercise on the Respiratory Function of Normal Individuals: A Randomized Control Trial.” Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Vol 30(7): 509-513.
115. Benjamin J.G., Bacon C.J., Verhoeff W.J. & Moran R.W. (2016). “Preliminary development of a complex intervention for osteopathic management of dysfunctional breathing.” International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine, Vol 21: 29-39.
131. Méndez-Sánchez R., González-iglesiás J., Puente-González A.S., Sánchez-Sánchez J.L., Puentedura E.J. & Fernández-de-las-Peñas, C. (2012). “Effects of Manual Therapy on Craniofacial Pain in Patients with Chronic Rhinosinusitis: A Case Series.” Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Vol 35(1): 64-72.
156. Wang QF, Shi ZT, Huang H, Du CL, Li JH, Chen ZJ, Chen LM, Qi YZ, Ma YF, Yin YS, Jiang AD & Zhang L. (2013). “Analysis of X-rays of cervical imbalances syndrome before and after the treatment of osteopathy and traction intervention in 187 youth cases”. Zhongguo Gu Shang. 2013 Jan;26(1):19-23.