Headaches are common in children from toddler age through to adolescence. There are many causes for chronic headaches in children, most commonly they are due to postural problems or they are the result of minor accidents during sport or a fall.
Teenagers frequently suffer headaches and migraines may also start at this time. Postural issues are very common due to their speedy growth and their many hours of screen use! Orthodontic work may also cause headaches especially after braces are tightened.
In younger children causes of headaches that are common are problems with vision, blocked paranasal sinuses or Eustachian tube in the middle ear, often caused by a common cold.
Diet and fluid intake must also be taken into consideration especially if your child is particularly active.
What to look out for
In toddlerhood and early childhood it may be difficult for your child to communicate how they are feeling. Look for signs that are out of character such as excessive crying and holding their head or head banging. Children will often become withdrawn when they are suffering and they may display reluctance to interact or socialise. Fatigue, nausea and inclination to be in a darkened room are also signs of head pain and may indicate a migraine headache.
How can Osteopathy help?
If your child is complaining of headaches or eliciting signs they may be suffering, examination and diagnosis is important to find out why your child is experiencing pain. Osteopathic treatment for headaches in children is similar to that of an adult but more gentle. A full case history is taken and examination is carried out to assess your child’s posture, muscle tone and joint movement. A combination of cranial, articulatory and soft tissue techniques are used to encourage the release of stresses and strains that may be causing your child’s pain. Osteopathic techniques can be used to reduce muscular tone in the neck and base of the skull. It can also help drain sinuses and unblock the eustachian tube (the small tube that connects the back of the nose to the middle ear). Treatment of the jaw and the surrounding muscles can also be effective in helping to alleviate pain and postural advice will be given. Postural and exercise advice should give some long term relief.
If your child needs to be assessed please contact the practice to make an appointment.