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Osteopathy for Babies

Melbourne Osteopathy Group



Osteopathy for Babies


Melbourne Osteopathy Group


Osteopathy Clinic fitzroy North


Osteopathy for Babies, Infants, and Children Consultation Information


Your osteopathic consultation for your baby/infant or child will typically consist of the following:


(1) Family History

Your family history will typically include:


  • Parental: Lifestyle, Work, Home History

  • Sibling: Age, condition of health, significant previous illnesses and problems

  • Previous Pregnancy/Birth History

  • Family Medical History



(2) Birth history

Details about your pregnancy and birth:


  • Antenatal: health of the pregnancy, baby movement, complications, treatments

  • Natal: timing of birth, nature and place of birth (induced, natural, position of delivery (posterior, anterior, breech etc)), assisted (eg forceps, vacuum, episiotomy), caesarian (elective or emergency)?

  • Neonatal: APGAR score; color, cyanosis, pallor, jaundice, cry, twitchings, excessive mucus, paralysis, convulsions, fever, hemorrhage, congenital abnormalities, birth injury, rashes, excessive weight loss, bonding, difficulty in sucking, and feeding difficulties. Functioning, health and responsiveness of baby in first 24 hours, and then first week, overall.



(3) Past Medical History

Your childs past medical history may include questions on the following:


  • Medications

  • Major surgical illnesses

  • Previous hospital admissions

  • Accidents, trauma-fractures, and lacerations

  • Ingestion's

  • Major medical illnesses

  • Contagious Diseases

  • Known allergies (not just drugs)

  • Infections

  • Immunization status



(4) Systems Review

Here your osteopath will go through a general screen of all major systems of the infant/child:


  • Weight: recent changes, weight at birth

  • Skin: rashes, hives, problems with hair, skin texture or color, rashes, lumps, bruising and bleeding, pigmentation changes

  • Head: headaches, concussions, unusual head shape

  • Ears: hearing, ear infections, otitis, draining ears, discharge

  • Eyes: crossed, foreign body or infection, glasses, strabismus, conjunctivitis, visual problems

  • Nose and Throat:  cold and sore throats, tonsillitis, mouth breathing, snoring, apnea, oral thrush, epistaxis, sneezing, stuffy nose, discharge, post-nasal drip

  • Teeth: teething, caries, age of eruption, number at one year; comparison with siblings.

  • Heart: breathing abnormalities, chest pain, cough, sputum, wheeze, expectoration, cyanosis, edema, syncope, tachycardia, heart murmurs, exercise tolerance, and palpitations,

  • Lungs: pneumonia, bronchiolitis, wheezing, chronic cough, sputum

  • Gastrointestinal: vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, type of stools, abdominal pain or discomfort, jaundice, stool color and character, colic, appetite

  • Genitourinary: frequency, character of stream, discharge, bladder control, previous infections

  • Musculoskeletal: joint pains or swelling, fevers, scoliosis, muscle pain or weakness, injuries, walking changes

  • Neuromuscular: headache, nervousness, dizziness, tingling, convulsions, habit spasms, walking disturbances, muscle or joint pains, postural deformities, exercise tolerance,

  • Endocrine: disturbances of growth, excessive fluid intake,

  • Allergy: urticaria, hay fever, allergic rhinitis, asthma, eczema, drug reactions

  • Diet: breast, formula, vitamin supplementation, solids, appetite

  • Sleep History: patterns & routines

  • Behavior: interaction with siblings, family and peers

  • General: Unusual weight gain or loss, fatigue, temperature sensitivity, mentality.

    • Pattern of growth: previous heights and weights, time and pattern of pubescence

    • Milestones: smiling, rolling, sitting alone, crawling, walking, running, 1st word, toilet training, development compared with siblings



(5) Presenting Complaint

Parental concern? Why has the child been brought along (symptoms / signs etc.)?


  • Detailed questioning will be applied depending on the presenting complaint: timing, nature, other symptoms, aggravating and relieving factors

  • Has the child experienced this issue previously?

  • What other care is the child receiving?

  • Any other medical information, imaging, scans, testing, referral letters from other health professionals.



(6) Physical Examination

Your osteopath will perform a detailed examination to further investigate your presenting complaint and have a general look at your infant/baby's body as a whole. Osteopaths pride themselves on their understanding of embryology, development, physiology, anatomy and biomechanics to analyse how the skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulation, connective tissue and internal organs function as a holistic unit to find clues as to the appropriate diagnosis and treatment method.


The aim of the osteopath is to identify the cause of the problem rather than just the symptoms.Osteopaths are registered as primary healthcare practitioners and are trained to recognise various conditions in all areas of the body and not just musculoskeletal injuries (e.g. diseases of the heart, lungs, digestive tract, vascular and nervous system etc.). Your osteopath will perform a general screen of all systems and tissues of your infant/child that may require referral back to your GP or paediatric specialist.


The physical examination may include the following:

  • Vital Signs: Temperature, blood pressure, heart and pulse rate, respiratory rate

  • Measurements: Height, Weight, Head Circumference

  • General Appearance Review

  • Skin Review

  • Heart, Lung and Abdominal Screen

  • Head, Face, Ears, Eyes, Nose, Mouth and Throat Examination

  • Spinal Examination

  • Limbs Examination

  • Special Reflexes Examination

  • Orthopaedic testing for specific conditions 


(7) Osteopathic Treatment of Infants and children

Osteopaths approach consultation and treatment of an infant as with any patient: treatment is based the patient. The osteopathic approach to infants and children is to be dynamic with how the child is on the day and look, listen and feel with the infant/child in their comfortable position (this may be on the treatment table, being held by the osteopath or the infant/child may stay with the parent).


A gentle approach to treatment is always applied to infants and children (Dr. Anthony Dileo will not perform any manipulative techniques on your child). An osteopath will look and feel for mild strains and stresses through palpation of various tissues and aim to release them to restore structure and function.Osteopaths generally apply gentle soft tissue massage, myofascial technique, muscle energy technique and cranio-sacral therapy.



(8) After Care and Home Management

Your Osteopath will provide you with some helpful advice on how to manage your infant/child at home. This may include:


  • Detailed information on the diagnosis, nature and prognosis, and management plan

  • Pain management tools (e.g. non medicinal pain management, medication referral, ergonomical, positional/anatomical relief, stretching, resting)

  • General lifestyle and ergonomic advice

  • Rehabilitation/Exercise prescription (with parents assistance)

  • Dietary Advice



(9) Referral (if required)

Osteopaths are primary care practitioners and are trained to recognise conditions that may require further investigation and referral to specialists and other health professionals. In general the best care for infants and children is to involve multiple practitioners and to encourage communication between all health care professionals involved.





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