Paediatrics and Osteopathy

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Our treatment of babies and children is aimed at being extremely gentle. There are many reasons why Osteopaths treat babies. Some of the more common reasons are concerns with uneven mobility,  generally tense and seemingly uncomfortable babies and sometimes feeding difficulty where baby seems to struggle for comfort.

Osteopathy for Breastfeeding Support

Sometimes the birth process may be physically traumatic for the baby which can place strain on certain areas of the baby (shoulders, neck, jaw, head). Osteopathic treatment helps to identify and treat the areas as well as provide parents with advice.

If your child requires further breastfeeding support we are more than happy to refer you a local Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) as we recognise the importance of a collaborative team approach to give you the best care possible.

All our staff undertake continued education in manual paediatric care, pregnancy care and lactation support and information.



An abnormal shape of an infant skull may be referred to as plagiocephaly. Often this involves the flattening of one side of the back of the head.  The cause of this may be due to the way the foetus was positioned in the abdomen or may be the result of the nature of labor and delivery.

Consequently it is due to pressure placed upon the soft and malleable skull.  This is commonly referred to as primary plagiocephaly. Secondary plagiocephaly develops after birth and is diagnosed later. Babies may also present with torticollis. Torticollis is a shortening of neck muscles which creates the head and neck to be tilted to one side.

Premature babies have an increased risk of developing plagiocephaly, as the bones that make up the cranial vault are very soft and malleable. A prolonged or difficult delivery, perhaps also with the use of forceps or assistance may lead to an altered shape in the head due to the forces of birthing.


Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Asymmetrical presentation of the head (often one side is flat and the other side of the cranium may be bulged)
  • Asymmetrical positioning of the eyes and ears
  • Evidence of torticollis (baby’s head is side bent to one side due to tight neck muscles)

The number of osteopathic treatment depends on the nature and severity of the condition.

Often it is encouraged that the parents continue to reposition the baby’s head to avoid lying on the flat side for a prolonged time. Tummy time may also be encouraged and safe baby-wearing ideas discussed.

References:Carreiro J. E. (2009). Pediatric Manual Medicine: An Osteopathic Approach. Churchill LivingstoneElsevierDeformation Plagiocephaly, Royal Children’s Hospital. Retrieved from

Cramp/growing pains:

Growing pain in children and adolescents is muscular pain most commonly along the calf, at the front or behind the knee. They can involve both legs. It often presents in children between the ages of 3-5 years and 8-11 years. Both boys and girls are both affected.

Symptoms may include:

  • Pain can present as an ache or throb
  • Pain presents at the end of the day
  • Pain is commonly located in the calf, at the front and behind the knee
  • Does not affect the child's activity of daily living (able to run and move legs with no
  • May wake up with the pain
  • Pain can be random in nature
  • Headaches and abdominal pain may occur with growing pains

Causes of growing pain

Muscle fatigue: Children are often involved in sports and exercises that can cause muscle fatigue and soreness.

Poor posture or altered biomechanics: Flat feet, poor footwear or inadequate posture when sitting or standing an often place excess stress on certain areas of the body.

Osteopathic treatment can help promote joint range of movement, stretch tight muscles and give exercises to help treat the affected areas. Heat packs and gentle massage to the affected muscles may be useful to relax the muscles. We may provide advice regarding correct posture and assess the biomechanics of the foot, knees, hips and spine.

References:Growing pains. (2015). Retrieved from pains. (1998-2015)., E., &Mitha N. (2008). Textbook of Pediatric Osteopathy. Churchill Livingstone Elsevier

Osgood schlatter's

What is it?

This is a common cause of knee pain in adolescents, where there is injury to growth plate of the tibia (shin). Along the front of the thigh there is a muscle group called the quadriceps. This structure attaches onto the tibia via the patella tendon. Every time the quadricep muscle contracts it pulls along the growth plate creating pain.

Signs and symptoms:

  • Pain below the knee cap
  • Pain with squatting, climbing up stairs, activities that require sudden change in direction
  • Swollen knee cap
  • Pain with kneeling down
  • Bony prominence below the knee cap


This is often found in adolescent children during periods of rapid growth. Structures such as muscles and tendons become tight when the bones grow and lengthen. As a result more tension is placed along the growth plate of the tibia.


Osteopaths offer a range of treatment techniques that may help treat this condition. We use gentle yet effective techniques to stretch out the affected muscles and joint capsules. We address any biomechanical dysfunctions that may be contributing to your child's cause. Osteopaths also provide advice regarding activity modification as well as prescribe exercises to ensure a quick recovery.

References:Osgood Schlatters Disease (2015). Retrieved from M., Noori M., (2008). The textbook of Pediatric Osteopathy. Churchhill Livingstone Elsevier