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Risks/downsides of cranial osteopathy?

(33 Posts)
Mafiti Thu 14-Mar-13 11:29:40

Ann Dobson treated my DD (6 weeks) for posterior tongue tie and says there is more going on, we should do CO. trusted BF counsellor says she saw no obvious reasons why CO would be necessary (but didnt say not to do it) is anyone aware of any significant risks? My partner is worried it could do more harm than good.

We've had feeding problems from the beginning, bad latch, sore nipples, unsettled baby, very unhappy in Moses basket, lots of wriggling as if she's trying to get fart/poo out but no obvious signs of relief when she does.

tigersmummy Sat 16-Mar-13 07:56:09

In my mind there are no downsides to chiropractic work, of which I believe co comes under. I've seen a chiropractor for 8 years with my back so when I thought my children would benefit I didn't hesitate. Dd was 4 weeks when we first took her, wouldn't settle without being on me and whilst that's no problem in itself she seemed very distressed. They diagnosed unaligned pelvis and neck (probably from c section) and inflated diaphragm. The difference wasn't outstanding in her but you could see her relax during treatment.

Then took DS who was 4.9 years at time - he had had difficult few months with moving house, starting reception and new sibling and wasn't himself and not concentrating or listening at school. She diagnosed the exact same thing as dd plus a twisted knee. The difference in him has been amazing. Each time he's tense with a fight or flight attitude then goes out chilled and calm. It is an incredible difference. He is now back to his old self and we go to chiropractor every 4 weeks at the moment. I know a range of factors is making him better: settling at home, now knowing school and what the routines and expectations are. But having seen the difference pre and post appt, as I'm the one who goes with him, I'm convinced that's a big factor too. Dh was sceptical, still is a bit, but don't let that put you off.

BertieBotts Sat 16-Mar-13 07:58:38

They only touch very gently, so I think the only risk is wasted money. I haven't ever used a co though. The

atrcts Sat 16-Mar-13 08:13:17

I know someone who lives abroad and claims she had her cervical spine bone 'chipped' by a rough chiropractor many moons ago, but I find it hard to believe really as she is a great exaggerated of the truth.

My personal experience is very good. I had a back injury after a car accident which would tighten up and become painful, but after a treatment I was 'unlocked' enough to turn my head with ease again.

Since giving birth I had spd which also was helped massively by the same chiropractor. My son was forceps delivery and had a few sessions too but to didn't seem to help with his inconsolable crying (other than actually DURING the treatment).

But I would say use someone with a great deal of experience if you can, or better still someone who comes with a personal recommendation.

I'm guessing it's like most things in life- you get some true experts and some less so. Kind of like how you'd probably get your hair cut at a 'good' hairdressers but some places you'd stay well clear of! wink

SuperDuperTrooper Sat 16-Mar-13 10:30:32

We took my DS for cranial osteopathy when he was about 4 months old. He was a very unsettled baby who spent most of his waking hours flapping his arms in a slightly manic way. CO helped.

They work very differently to a chiropractor that you may see as an adult. Their touch is very gentle and sometimes you sit there watching wondering if they are even doing anything! Thing is it did help so she must have done something!

I was nervous about taking my baby to someone who was going to physically manipulate them but was fortunate enough to get a recommendation after asking around. This helped me relax enough with it to take him. Having started the sessions I then realised that how gentle the treatment is but I suppose, like any physical therapy, its wise to be sure that the practitioner is qualified and reputable so that you can trust they are doing it properly!

Sheshelob Sat 16-Mar-13 10:34:31

Cranial is incredible. Not like going to the chiropractor - very gentle touch. Our boy has had it since birth and it has a very settling effect on him.

Do you need a recommendation?

corinthian Sat 16-Mar-13 10:45:13

Cost! You'll need a few sessions (ours did a different part of the head each sesssion) and it may not have any effect. It is very gentle though - I was worried beforehand but needn't have been. It was a waste of £150 though.

golemmings Sat 16-Mar-13 11:00:11

We've taken both of ours to a CO. DS from birth (which was traumatic) and it helped him settle and relax and undid some of the structural damage which occurred and DD from 3 because of glue ear. So far DD was avoided grommets which is great. When here hearing drops we take her back in for a couple of sessions and the CO can release the tensions which contribute to bending the tubes in her ear and preventing the glue from being released.

The CO also clocked ds's reflux which turned out to be from a dairy intolerance. I'd not seen it before (she's seen so many kids that she has experience of a lot of conditions) and wouldn't have clocked it but we went dairy free when he was 6 weeks and he became a different child.
Our CO is fabulous. happy to recommend if you're in shropshire.

FredFredGeorge Sat 16-Mar-13 16:24:24

How can you be qualified and reputable though? It's not an actual medical technique with any evidence behind it, so there's no body to issue qualifications with any meaning?

It's also been implicated in deaths, e.g.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 16-Mar-13 16:34:58

It carries no risk in the same way that homeopathy carries no risk. They don't actually do anything.

It's all a load of woo bollocks...

SuperDuperTrooper Sat 16-Mar-13 21:04:48

Cranial sacral therapy and cranial osteopathy are two different therapies.

Cranial osteopaths have trained as osteopaths and then gone on to further study of the cranial concept. Craniosacral therapists, by comparison, are not usually qualified osteopaths (although a significant number of craniosacral teachers are), but generally have more varied backgrounds.

There was no way I would have taken my DS to a cranialsacral therapist as they don't need any qualifications whereas osteopaths are fully licensed physicians.

I wasn't overly convinced it would help but when you are desperate to find a way of calming your very unsettled baby it gets to the point where you will give things a go you may ordinarily be sceptical about. I, for one, am glad I did!

Posterofapombear Sat 16-Mar-13 21:10:38

I have no 'woo' tendencies at all but DD and I had a traumatic birth and her face and neck were mangled.

3 sessions of CO over two weeks straightened out her face and gave her more mobility in her neck solving her feeding problems.

HV had referred her to hospital prior to CO because she was so concerned about her mobility

So you could lose money but you stand to gain more!

JacqueslePeacock Sat 16-Mar-13 23:47:47

Ann Dobson recommended we see one too, also after posterior tongue tie. It was a complete waste of time and money. She didn't seem willing to take no for an answer though, so we gave in and tried it despite thinking it would be a load of woo. But lo and behold, it was a load of woo. Next thing we knew we were getting weird advice from the osteopath on what to feed/not to feed our baby when weaning and lots of other stuff which had bugger all to do with tongue tie/osteopathy. Not recommended.

SweetPea99 Mon 18-Mar-13 20:11:05

After feeding my 1st baby with no problems at all, I really struggled with my 2nd - cracked and bleeding nipples, a very poor latch - sometimes I would be trying to get him to latch about 20 times, and he wasn't putting on weight very quickly. I tried to explain to people that it was as though he couldn't open his mouth wide enough to get my nipple in. NCT counsellors suggested cranial osteopathy, and after one session, he was a whole new baby, no probloem latching at all. He was about 10 days old at the time, the osteopath thought he had probably been in an awkward position, and then I remembered that the surgeon (c-section) said he was squashed into my pelvis and had no chance of coming out naturally. Not woo. I suggest that it depends on the osteopath and you should only use one you have used yourself or had personal recommendations for.

wombatcheese Tue 19-Mar-13 02:03:42

Cranial osteopathy has no positive trials proving any effect whatsoever. They claim to 'realign the skull plates', which shifting bones around a newborn's brain sounds terrifying. Fortunately, as other posters has said, they are v gentle and don't actually do anything.
Nobody can confidentially say CO 'cured'/ improved feeding, temperament or sleeping for their baby as you can't say that it wouldn't have just improved with time anyway.
CO often want to see babies at about 6weeks, interestingly coinciding with when babies become more settled usually anyway. Their 'training' involves learning some real and some made-up anatomy, so I would not trust it with a barge pole- probably safe (although I do know a case of a newborn becoming paralysed after it), but complete waste of money.

DaleingtonModelActorEgo Tue 19-Mar-13 02:18:28

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JacqueslePeacock Tue 19-Mar-13 02:23:59

Hmmm...I doubt cranial osteopathy will be much use for that, sorry.

munchkinmaster Tue 19-Mar-13 02:28:41


DaleingtonModelActorEgo Tue 19-Mar-13 02:30:05

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DaleingtonModelActorEgo Tue 19-Mar-13 02:30:28

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munchkinmaster Tue 19-Mar-13 02:37:04

Hmm. I'd marked place while I dealt with baby. I'm aware of a case where co was implicated in a childhood brain injury. As far as I know co are trained in adult anatomy etc and it may be that applying such knowledge to the very different anatomy of a child/baby is the problem. Sorry not to give more details but know about child via work and shouldn't be chatting online about details.

Who is ann Dobson?

sahmbles Tue 19-Mar-13 12:24:50

We took DD for CO as she was born with a very cone-shaped head that did not self-correct. The CO told us that her skull bones were still overlapped and would take many sessions to gradually be corrected.

Meanwhile, we also went down the conventional medical route and were referred to Great Ormond Street hospital, where an MRI scan categorically demonstrated that the CO was talking rubbish.

In my opinion, it's all woo and a waste of time and money. DD hated the sessions, too hmm.

munchkinmaster Tue 19-Mar-13 14:59:21

That's what's so worrisome shambles. Your daughter may have mild synostosis (or not) but some kids lives could be at risk from raised pressure in side the brain. If parents listen to an ill informed co consequences could be awful. The very idea that they thought they could fix a fused skull via manipulating it shows a real lack of knowledge of the basic anatomy of the skull.

munchkinmaster Tue 19-Mar-13 15:01:16

Sorry your child doesn't have synostosis (fused skull which can show by a cone shaped head). Still co didn't know that.

munchkinmaster Tue 19-Mar-13 15:02:14

Obviously I'm sorry I misread, not sorry your child is healthy
<gives up>.

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