North Shore Osteopaths, Balgowlah

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HOW AN OSTEOPATH CAN HELP CHILDREN AT SCHOOL

Sunday, March 15, 2015

An osteopathic assessment of the child is of paramount importance to ensure that they are physically balanced, and that there is no undue strain in the body that is causing or aggravating the learning problem. This is especially true for children who are already in school – where a lot more challenges face them.

 

How does osteopathy help school-age kids?

 

To help children with developmental difficulties learn concepts faster

Cranial Osteopathic treatment is a very gentle approach to treating children with learning or developmental difficulties. Specific gentle pressure is applied where necessary to enable the inherent healing ability of the body to effect the release of stresses. Osteopathic treatment can help in improving concentration, co-ordination, fine and gross motor skills, and auditory and visual processing issues.

 

To help a child concentrate

Being able to concentrate means that children are able to keep their minds focused on a task for a reasonable period of time, the length of time depending on the age of the child.

Getting distracted is normal for young children. Most children have times when they are restless and forgetful. In general the causes for lack of concentration among children include tiredness and late-nights, poor diet and lack of interest.

 

If your child is fidgety and unable to sit and concentrate for long, and you have out-ruled the obvious causes of distraction, it may be due to physical discomfort and tension that they do not have the words to explain. As some children retain the stresses and strains of birth, gentle treatment from a trained cranial osteopath can be beneficial to help release these pressures, enabling your child to fully engage with life again. A child who is physically uncomfortable may not complain of aches and pains. The stresses have probably been present since birth, and have become ‘normal’ for that child.

 

To help master motor skills

Children of school age may have difficulty concentrating, coping with learning and writing, or with developing and mastering fine and gross motor skills.  Their general well-being can suffer from repeated exposure to infections at day care or at school.  Osteopathy aims to play a supportive role through this stage of their development by helping them relax – thus enabling the children to be in a better physical state to learn and retain concepts.

 

Helps older children / teens got through physical developments according to the norm

At this stage there is rapid growth and development, thus necessitating regular osteopathic checks and treatment to help them adjust with developments more easily. Some of the issues that arise at this age include spinal asymmetry, postural fatigue, growth related bone pain, anxiety and headaches. The osteopathic management of children at all ages is rewarding because it ensures that every aspect of growth is taking place appropriately - resolving issues promptly as they arise.


4 WAYS TO HELP YOUR BABY’S BRAIN TO DEVELOP

Friday, November 21, 2014

The rule for brain wiring is "use it or lose it." Synapses that are not "wired together" through stimulation are pruned and lost during a child's school years. Although an infant's brain does have some neurological hard wiring (such as the ability to learn any language), it is more pliable and more vulnerable than an adult's brain. And, amazingly, a toddler's brain has twice as many neural connections as an adult's.

 

When you provide loving, language-enriched experiences for your baby, you are giving his brain's neural connections and pathways more chances to become wired together. In turn, he will acquire rich language, reasoning, and planning skills.

 

So how do you develop your baby’s brain power? Here are some suggestions.

 

Have meaningful conversations.

Respond to infant coos with delighted vocalizations. Slowly draw out your syllables in a high-pitched voice as you exclaim, "Pretty baby!" The areas in the brain for understanding speech and producing language need your rich input.

 

Go outside – expose the baby to the outside world.

A stroller ride can be very stimulating, visiting strange new places which we adults often take for granted. Share the view. Take your baby on walks in a front carrier, sling, or backpack, and narrate what you see: "dog" or "trees!" or "Look at the car!" - to give your baby endless vocabulary-building opportunities.

 

Infants who are carried more cry less

Infants who spend less time crying and lying down devote more time and energy to growing and learning. The neurological reason for this is that motion regulates babies. Carried babies show an increase in awake content time, called quiet alertness. This is the behavioural state in which an infant is most content and best able to interact with the environment. Newborns have disorganized nervous systems in their new environment; they must adjust to being outside the womb. Unheld, they flail their arms, arch their backs, and genuinely seem unsettled. Slings contain and settle babies by providing the motion and holding that babies need to be neurologically organized.

 

Another result of being carried in a sling is that babies receive more attentive parenting and more interaction with the environment, causing more brain cell connections. In fact, researchers have reported that carried babies show enhanced visual and auditory alertness. Also, the behavioural state of quiet alertness gives parents a better opportunity to interact with their baby.

 

When facing forward in the sling, a baby has a wide view of her environment – she is able to scan her world. Baby learns to choose—focusing on what she wishes to look at and shutting out what she doesn’t. This ability to make choices also helps develop a smart baby.

 

Set up a safe environment for your crawling baby or toddler.

Spatial learning is important, and your mobile child will begin to understand parameters such as under, over, near, and far. He will be able to establish mental maps of his environment and a comfortable relationship with the world in which he lives.


4 TIPS TO HELP YOUR BABY TALK

Monday, November 10, 2014

Your baby is born with an innate desire to communicate with you and for you to communicate with him. Babies are totally dependent on their parents. The more you chat to your toddler, the more opportunities she is likely to have to learn how to talk.

 

But bear in mind that all children are different and learn to talk at different rates.

 

With this in mind, how, then, do you coax your child to utter his first few words – and eventually – his first sentences? Here are some great tips.

 

Share a Book

In the early months, reading isn't about the plot so much as the shared experience. As you cuddle together, talk about the pictures any way you like—you don't have to stick to the story line ("Look at the fuzzy bear"). Touch-and-feel books are great for babies 6 months and under, when the senses are a primary tool, and picture books with no words at all can free you to make up your own tale. Whether you choose a board book or a Dr. Seuss favourite, reading to your baby can inspire a richer use of vocabulary and provide fun themes you might not have thought of on your own.

 

Use two-way communication from the beginning.

From the time our babies are born, they need to know that we not only tell them what’s happening, but also that we pay attention to their non-verbal signals and listen to their sounds and cries. If we’re unsure, we wait before reacting. We ask, give the child time to take our question in, and listen again. We make every attempt to understand what our babies might be communicating. We won’t always be successful in the beginning, but we’ll improve with each try.

Meanwhile our children hear our profoundly important message: “We want you to tell us what you need and feel.  We believe you are capable of communicating with us, and we will do our best to understand you.”

 

This is vital. Only we can open this door and wholeheartedly welcome our baby’s communication. Talk about real, meaningful things.

 

Be animated.

Use lots of melody and facial expression when you talk with the baby. Use changes in volume. Sing. Use your hands. This makes you even more fascinating than you are. You are already one of the most intriguing things in your baby’s life. But when you create interest around the act of talking, you get your baby to attend to it for longer periods of time and that gives your baby even more opportunity to learn.

 

Listen.

Research shows that as important as giving a child words is, it is equally important to let them have the floor. Listening and attention are validating. We all know this. We know who in our circle of friends is the best listener and we seek them out when we need to have our souls soothed. So when you give your child your attention when he or she is talking – and by “talking” this is babbling, singing, saying words, engaging in sound or word play – you teach your child that those things are important and worth your time, and you sustain their interest in it by paying attention to it yourself.


Osteopathy for Teenagers

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The adolescent years are a great time of change on many levels including physical, hormonal, social and emotional. Osteopathy can assist with common injuries and muscle strains associated with your teenager’s favourite sport or dance activities and can also address postural problems related to increased study load or heavy back packs to set your teen up for fewer musculoskeletal problems later in life.

 

Our teenager may be introduced to braces which are great for assisting proper dental alignment but the increased pressure and strain can sometimes cause jaw pain, digestive upsets, backaches, neck strain and headaches. Osteopathy can help by addressing the ligaments, fascia, muscles and bones of the neck, jaw and shoulders to help alleviate the pain associated with the changes the body makes to accommodate new braces or if braces are tightened/adjusted.

 

Stress in another factor that is prevalent in our teenager’s lives – balancing part time work and sports with increased study load, learning to drive, depression due to hormonal changes and social pressures all take their toll. Osteopathy can help by reducing the effects of increased sympathetic tone (the flight and fight response of your nervous system) and address musculoskeletal restrictions to ensure an adolescent’s body is functioning optimally to promote relaxation and the body’s natural coping mechanisms.

 

You may have noticed that your teenager seems to have shot up almost instantly – overnight. You are not imagining things – rapid growth is common and can lead to “growing pains” as your teen’s ligaments and muscles undergo increased strain in an effort to keep up with growing bones. Osteopathy can help by stretching and releasing tight ligaments and muscles to reduce the pain associated with sudden growth spurts.

 

Moeckel, E & Mitha, N. (2008) Textbook of Paediatric Osteopathy Churchill Livingstone (98-9)

Pellisé, F., Balagué, F., Rajmil, L., Cedraschi, C., Aguirre, M., Fontecha, C. G., ... & Ferrer, M. (2009). Prevalence of low back pain and its effect on health-related quality of life in adolescents. Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine, 163(1), 65-71.


Osteopathy: Helping Your Body Help You

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

 

 

The majority of injuries suffered by Australians occur in the workplace or during leisure activities, according to a National Health Survey (ABS)[1]. Osteopaths are uniquely positioned to assist people of all ages to prevent injuries that can easily occur in daily life.

 

Osteopathy, statistically the fastest growing health profession in Australia[2], is a form of drug-free, manual healthcare that focuses on a whole-of-body approach to health by treating and strengthening the musculoskeletal framework.

 

Osteopathy takes a unique approach to healthcare and looks at the entire body as a working unit. They use manual techniques to assist all systems of the body and ensure each part is working correctly.

 

Osteopaths regularly treat patients who have been injured in the workplace, at home or while playing sport. These patients may complain of lower back pain, headaches, muscle strain or joint stiffness.

 

Injury prevention means less time off work and more time enjoying good health, so it’s important for Australians to know how injuries can happen and how to prevent them.

 

In the office: select a suitable chair for your desk, take regular breaks from looking at the computer screen and move around the office periodically. Without these precautions, people may experience back and neck pain, eyestrain, headache pain or general stress and tension.

 

In the home: simple tasks such as lifting grocery shopping or carrying young children can easily cause injury. Bend your knees as you lift heavy items and avoiding sudden, jerky movements as these risk damaging the lower back or straining muscles.

 

Exercise: perform warm up and cool down stretches before and after exercise. This is especially important during the colder weather as the risk of injury becomes greater.

 

With our lives becoming increasingly busy, yet sedentary, osteopathy offers a prevention plan that is quick and easy and offers a great way for Australians to maintain their health.

 

Osteopathy is safe for all age groups and osteopaths treat not only the specific problem but also provide lifestyle advice on diet, exercise, stress reduction, posture and breathing. Osteopaths encourage individuals to proactively prevent injuries and ailments, which in the long term leads to better overall health and less time and money spent on treatment.

 

Osteopaths can be seen directly without a referral or in addition to the care provided by a GP. It is acknowledged by all major health funds as well as DVA, Workcover, Medicare and attracts a rebate with a GP referral for chronic pain and conditions.

 

Call us now to book your appointment!

 



[1]  ABS. (2002). Health Risk Factors: Work-related injuries. Canberra: ABS.

[2] ABS. (2008). Australian Social Trends. Canberra: ABS.

 


Don’t Let Back Pain Rule Your Life

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


According to Safe Work Australia, around 58 works per 1000 are injured during a 12 month period. Work related injury and illness is estimated to cost Australia over $60 billion each financial year. This represents nearly 5% of GDP[1].



Further research shows that 25% of all injuries occur in just one area - the back[2]. Osteopathy Australia (formerly Australian Osteopathic Association) is celebrating International Osteopathy Awareness Week April 12-19 and encourages all Australians to use this week to get into healthy habits at work and home.

Major causes of back injury are poor lifting technique or the impact of bad posture and computer use. Not all back problems arise from a sudden event or trauma, in fact a significant number of injuries result from cumulative stress on the back. In these injuries small

One possibility for these injuries is repeated small or unnoticed lifting injuries giving rise to micro-trauma and local inflammation of the ligaments and muscles in the low back. This can interrupt the delicate feedback mechanisms that control small muscle contractions in the spine, leaving the area less coordinated and more vulnerable to further injury. These small aches and pains are often ignored until the problem progresses and becomes more severe.

This is where an osteopath can help. Osteopathy is a form of drug-free, manual healthcare that focuses on total body health by treating and strengthening the musculoskeletal framework. Osteopaths are primary health care practitioners with the training and skills to assess complaints and develop the most effective course of action.

Osteopaths advise on posture, exercise and stretching to help prevent the reoccurrence of back pain. Osteopaths can help improve general mobility, reduce muscular tension, nerve compression and inflammation and can assist improving the ergonomics of a home or workplace.



Don’t wait for back pain to become a severe problem before seeing a health professional.  Treatment of the injured area followed up with rehabilitation including muscle strengthening, increasing flexibility and work on the stabilising muscles along the spine may well help to reduce the risk of further injury.



So what you do to help prevent back injury? Here are some simple rules to help reduce back pain at work or home:



  • Lift from your knees, not your back - keep your back straight, bend your knees and keep the weight close to your body when lifting.
  • Avoid twisting or reaching when carrying weight, instead move your feet carefully and turn your whole body.
  • When sitting at a desk make sure your feet are flat on the floor and your arms are parallel to the ground with your wrists in a neutral position.
  • Keep your monitor 50 – 100 cm from your face and adjust it so the centre sits at eye level.
  • Change your posture regularly and stand up to move around and stretch every 30 minutes.


If you're experiencing back pain, call us or book an appointment online.


[1] Safe Work Australia. (2014). Key Work Health and Safety Statistics, Australia, 2014. Canberra.

[2] ABS. (2002). Health Risk Factors: Work-related injuries. Canberra: ABS.



Osteopathy & Pregnancy

Saturday, May 03, 2014


Being pregnant can be a truly amazing experience - but there are a lot of aches and pains that can go hand-in-hand with pregnancy.


Pregnancy puts a lot of strain on the body as it goes through major changes to accommodate a growing baby. As the pregnancy progresses the extra weight creates a shift in the body’s centre of gravity, pulling the body off balance. 


Supporting ligaments loosen which can mean less stability, increasing the chance of injury. Low back pain and pelvic pain are also common complaints in pregnancy with up to 60% of women experiencing back pain. *


Many pregnant women find that treatment form an osteopath is very helpful for reducing pain throughout their pregnancy and in preparation for labour.


A 2010 study shows that osteopathic manipulative treatment slows or stops back-specific problems that can occur during the third trimester of pregnancy.# To assist with these problems, osteopaths may employ gentle soft tissue, articulation or stretching techniques during treatment.


Not only will your osteopath treat the symptoms and pains of pregnancy, they can also offer advice about managing them.


We often demonstrate self-help techniques that you and your partner can use during pregnancy and labour.


Osteopathy is a form of drug-free, manual healthcare that focuses on total body health by treating and strengthening the musculoskeletal framework. It positively affects the body’s nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems.


Osteopathy is safe for all age groups and osteopaths treat not only the specific problem but also provide lifestyle advice on diet, exercise, stress reduction, posture and breathing. Osteopaths encourage individuals to proactively prevent injuries and ailments, which in the long term leads to better overall health and less time and money spent on treatment. 


 * Wang, S.-M., Dezinno, P., Maranets, I., Berman, M., Caldwell-Andrews, A., & Kain, Z. (2004). Low Back Pain During Pregnancy: Prevalence, Risk Factors, and Outcomes. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 65-70.
# Licciardone, J., Buchanan, S., Hensel, K., King, H., Fulda, K., & Stoll, S. (2010). Osteopathic manipulative treatment of back pain and related symptoms during pregnancy: a randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 43.




Taking a Stiff Upper Lip with Arthritis

Saturday, May 03, 2014



3.85 million Australians suffer almost constant pain from arthritis, according to the Arthritis Australia[1]. Osteopathy Australia.

Osteopathy is a form of drug-free, manual healthcare that focuses on total body health by treating and strengthening the musculoskeletal framework.


“Osteopathy takes a unique approach to healthcare and looks at the entire body as a working unit. Osteopaths don’t only concentrate on the problem area, but use manual techniques to assist all system of the body,” explained Antony Nicholas, CEO of Osteopathy Australia.


Osteopathic treatments can help those living with arthritis to maintain mobility and flexibility while carrying out simple activities, such as lifting, reaching and bending over. Treatments may include gentle soft tissue techniques to increase blood flow to the joints as well as posture and structure alignment of joints to minimise wear and tear.


 “Osteopathic treatment for arthritis doesn’t aim to replace medication or treatments prescribed by a GP,” said Nicholas. “Osteopaths work in conjunction with GPs to ease the effects of arthritis on the body and maintain mobility.”


Osteopathy is safe for all age groups and osteopaths treat not only the specific problem but also provide lifestyle advice on diet, exercise, stress reduction, posture and breathing. Osteopaths encourage individuals to proactively prevent injuries and ailments, which in the long term leads to better overall health and less time and money spent on treatment.


Osteopaths can be seen directly without a referral or in addition to the care provided by a GP. It is acknowledged by all major health funds as well as DVA, WorkCover, Medicare and attracts a rebate with a GP referral for chronic pain and conditions.




[1]

Australia, A. (n.d.). Arthritis Australia. Retrieved from http://www.arthritisaustralia.com.au/index.php/arthritis-information.html



Do you suffer from poor posture?

Friday, February 21, 2014

 

 

Do you suffer from poor posture: rounded shoulders, a ‘hump’ at the base of the neck and a slightly ‘slumped’ back? Do you find this impossible to change no matter how many times you keep trying to ‘sit up straight and put your shoulders back’? The driving factor maintaining this poor posture, may be coming from your FEET.

 

The nerves in your feet that talk to the brain about your posture, exist in greater number in your big toe joints. Through stimulating your big toes, this communication can increase, improving your posture

 

Handy tip: one way of improving the communication between your feet and your brain, is by spending time each week walking barefoot in the sand and on rocks.

 

However, if you spend most of your time away from the sand, you may benefit from wearing our Posture Control Insoles (PCI’s, or prokinetics), which are designed specifically to improve this communication and your posture, by giving stimulation to the big toe joints.

 

The insoles may also benefit the feet themselves, as well as potentially reducing hip, knee and back pain

 

They are safe to wear for adults and children, from the ages of 6 and up. Children, with their growing bones may particularly benefit from these insoles.

Book in for an assessment today, to see if you or your children may benefit from these insoles!


Do you suffer from chronic neck pain?

Friday, February 21, 2014

 

 

Do you suffer from chronic neck pain and stiffness? Do you get relief from massage or manual therapy only to feel your pain and stiffness come back within minutes?

 

You may be relying on the muscles in your neck and shoulders to help you breathe in, rather than relying on the diaphragm to do this.

 

If this is the case, every time you breathe in, your neck and shoulder muscles have to contract very strongly, to lift up your rib cage and all the organs in side it – a job that should be done mostly by the diaphragm muscle. This is enough to make anyone stiff and sore!

 

Handy tip: put your hands on your hips, then slide them up a bit to the bottom of your rib cage. Take a big breath in slowly and as you breathe in, you should feel your rib cage pushing out into your hands – as you breathe out slowly, you should feel you should feel your hands moving back in towards each other.

 

If you find it very difficult to feel your rib cage expand, you may need some help to loosen up this area and to make sure your diaphragm and its associated connective tissues, are ‘communicating’ well with the rest of your body.

 

To have your breathing mechanism assessed, treated and home exercise suggestions, make an appointment with one of the osteopaths at NSO


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