Treatment of Toddlers and Children.

Toddlers and children have unique issues which often benefit from Osteopathic treatment.

Development is rapid in many different areas, particularly during the transition from infant to toddler. Osteopathy provides support for the body and the brain through these changes by releasing strain caused by rapid and sometimes asymmetric growth. We also release strains caused by repeated or occasionally severe bumps to the head and sacrum which occur as the toddler learns to negotiate the world in a new way. Of course just the transition from crawling to walking changes dramatically how weight is distributed and carried and regions of restriction may manifest during this time period. These regions are treated effectively by Osteopathic Treatment.

Another common way in which Osteopathy can assist children and toddlers is when there is recurrent infection or inflammation. Structural restriction, from the Osteopathic perspective, reduces the body’s ability to fight off infection. Fluid in the ears and sinuses may fail to drain and like standing water become contaminated. With Cranial Osteopathy we improve structural and fluid movement so the body can clear stagnant areas. Similar principles are applied in the treatment of pneumonia and asthma.

A variety of specific developmental issues may be helped by Osteopathic treatment. For these children we work to establish balance within the nervous system, and musculoskeletal system and to improve structural movement and thus circulation within certain regions of the brain. When these areas are released healing can better occur in areas of the brain that may have been adversely affected. In children with limited function, whatever resources are present can be better utilized when blockages in key areas are released.

Osteopathy may be helpful as one part of a complete approach to a child with Autism, Asperger’s or Down Syndrome. In these cases we are not treating the underlying cause, but are assisting the patient as much as possible by improving circulation of the brain, mechanical movement of the bones and membranes of the head, and by bringing balance to the nervous system.

Common Childhood Conditions for which Osteopathic Treatment may be Beneficial

  • Falls and head injuries
  • Back, neck or other body or limb pain
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents
  • Recurrent Otitis Media (Middle ear infection)
  • Eustacian tube dysfunction (blocked ear canals) or Serous Otitis (fluid in the ears)
  • Recurrent Sinusitis
  • Headaches
  • Abdominal Pain, Reflux and Constipation
  • Developmental Delays
  • Sensory Integration Issues
  • Speech Delay or Difficulties
  • Scoliosis
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders/Asperger’s (as part of a complete treatment plan)
  • Down Syndrome
  • Pneumonia
  • Asthma
  • Genu Valgus and Genu Varus (Knock knees and bow legs)
  • Femoral anteversion (hip turned inward)
  • Metarsus Adductus (feet turned inward)

Treating toddlers and children is a large part of my practice. My experience treating children began in my third year of medical school (1997).

Seattle DO

Stephen Cavanaugh, D.O., Manager
Osteopathic Physician
521 19th Ave E
Seattle, WA 98112
(206) 325-7435

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