A breakdown by registered osteopath, Jamie Taylor, to help guide you as you explore the benefits of osteopathy for you and your baby.
Osteopathy is a manual therapy based on the concept that abnormal function of the musculoskeletal system is an important cause of pain and disability. It is typically associated with treating back and joint pain where loss of function has occurred. We treat a wide range of the population, including new-borns and pregnancy.
Osteopaths consider their treatment to be complementary, not alternative, to conventional medicine; they aim to work alongside local GPs, Midwifes and other allied health professionals.
A typical consultation involves history taking and physical examination; a detailed evaluation of the complaint involves assessment of posture, muscle tone and mobility. Clinical testing is used as appropriate i.e. ultrasound and X-Ray. Treatment aims to improve mobility to restricted areas and to educate patients about their condition and how to manage it.
Often new-borns present with wind, reflux, settling and feeding issues. Osteopathic care involves, parental advice on settling, winding, diet, and supplement advice, which is particularly important when a Mum is breast feeding.
Osteopathic treatment consists of gentle non manipulative, movement with traction and stretch on the joints, muscle and ligaments to reduce stress on the tissues. Feeding issues can be aided by assessing for good latch and suck. Reflux can be reduced by improved diet and improving the mechanics of the jaw and also aiding the stomach muscles and diaphragm. Often symptoms are addressed in the traditional medical model and eating and good gut health isn’t particularly discussed these are however easy and simple to change with motivated parents i.e. use of probiotics and reducing processed food intake.
Osteopathic care for pregnant women pre and post birth focuses on helping the mother to accommodate the stresses on the structure including spine, joints and soft tissue. It helps to alleviate some of the pains and problems associated with changes in posture, weight bearing and laxity in the ligaments and tissues especially within the pelvis. Treatment also helps to prepare the body and pelvis for lab our and delivery, it also helps recovery after any potential strains imposed during the birth process whether natural delivery or caesarean. Previous injuries, which begin to affect the wellbeing of the mother during pregnancy. Osteopathy also aims to make space available for the developing baby so they are as comfortable as possible and not under any undue stress.
Osteopaths have to be registered and have personal liability insurance they are also ACC accredited it is important that these are checked. It is also vital they have extra training in paediatric and pregnancy care. These requirements are going to be mandatory for Osteopaths over the next 2 years.
By Jamie Taylor, MSc Registered Osteopath ACC provider
7 Lombard St Palmerston North