Aches and pains in children
Aches and pains in an otherwise well child are not all that common. So if a child keeps complaining of discomfort it’s a good idea to seek advice from a qualified professional. Osteopaths such as ourselves are especially well qualified to do this. We will help to establish the cause of the problem, provide advice and treatment. We will refer you for further examinations if required. Osteopathy and Cranial Osteopathy for children can help with aches and pains from hypermobility, sprains and strains, sports injuries and postural problems.
Our treatment is very specific and carefully done. The children we treat like being treated so much that they ask to come back.
Common causes of aches and pains that we see in children:
- previous injuries ie strains, sprains and sports injuries – respond well to rehabilitation of the damaged areas
- overly flexible joints, known as hypermobility – responds well to rebalancing soft tissues, exercises and lifestyle advice
- previous illnesses – for instance an achey neck can be from stiffness around the neck lymph nodes after lots of ear/nose/throat infections, which responds well to very gentle soft tissue treatment
- postural problems – respond well to postural advice and loosening soft tissues in problem areas
- orthodontal braces – can lead to stiffness in the neck and jaw which respond well to cranial osteopathy
- growth spurts (from babies to teenagers) – careful loosening of areas stretched by rapid growth can be enormously soothing
Sometimes the discomfort be partly down to lifestyle. Like adults, children can suffer from back pain as a result of a variety of lifestyle activities. Below are some lifestyle changes you may consider making to reduce your child’s aches and pains.
Good school bags – as awkward loads can lead to strains and postural problems
Children are often required to carry bags full of books, PE kits, musical instruments and other equipment to and from school. Parents should try to limit the weight of school bags as much as possible and invest in a good quality back pack that the child should wear across both shoulders, ideally with a strap across the chest to keep the load close to their body. Packing the bag with the heaviest items (such as laptops and heavy books) closest to child’s body, will also make carrying more comfortable and less likely to strain the muscles of the back.
Limit screen time – as it risks poor posture
Looking down to use smart phones, tablets and laptops for an extended period can pull the back and neck into an unnatural posture, resulting in pain. Placing limits on the time spent using devices and encouraging regular breaks may help to avoid problems. If your child has to use a laptop for homework, consider purchasing a support that elevates the screen to a height that allows him or her to sit up straight to look at it.
Regular exercise – maintains and builds core strength helping to avoid strains, aches and pains
A sedentary lifestyle is known to contribute to the risk of developing back pain, as well as contributing to obesity. Regular physical activity helps to keep the core muscles that support the spine strong and maintain flexibility, which will help to avoid back pain. Encourage lots of active play, walking, running, swimming, cycling to keep your child fit and healthy.
The right bed and pillow – avoids waking up with aches and pains
Good quality sleep is vital for both physical and mental development. Make sure that your child has a good sized comfortable bed with a firm mattress and a pillow that supports their head without lifting it too high.
Osteopathic Treatment for your child’s back pain – you’ve done everything you can at home but your child still isn’t comfortable
If your child’s pain does need osteopathic treatment, our gentle manual techniques should help to resolve symptoms quickly. Easing any stresses and strains that are affecting the body and relieving the pain.
If you’re not sure what your child needs, please feel free to call us to discuss it.