Osteopathy for Peds: Otitis Media, Tonsillitis and Head Injuries
Non-Invasive Approaches to Common Conditions
Osteopathic Manual Medicine (O.M.M) is a form of body work performed by physicians that integrates and applies understanding of anatomy, physics, and medical science to treat injuries and disease. With a very low risk profile, O.M.M. is a worthwhile option to try prior to more invasive procedures and therapies. Through subtle interactions with the body and cranial structures, Osteopathy has been shown to resolve many issues that can be difficult to treat with standard primary care approaches. Below are a few common pediatric pathologies with strong outcomes using O.M.M.
Our approach to otitis media promotes middle ear drainage by removing eustachian tube and temporal bone compression. Clinical data from my own personal osteopathic practice over the last 5 years has shown nearly a 100% significant improvement rate in patients with acute or chronic otitis media. A larger study in 2014 showed statistically significant outcomes as well (1).
Chronic tonsillitis is about more than drug resistance and the presence of tonsils. It is important to promote lymphatic and vascular circulation so that immune system can gain adequate access to the oropharynx, sinuses, and the body as a whole (2). A key part of this treatment is addressing mouth breathing and tongue mechanics by treating orofacial structures.
Standard of care for head injuries emphasizes watchful waiting and return to play times. However, there are ways to support glymphatic drainage and cranial circulation and therefore improve outcomes (3). O.M.M. techniques are capable of removing cranial and somatic strain patterns from the injury that caused the concussion, ultimately promoting the inherent healing mechanisms of the CNS and body.
1. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2014 Jun;114(6):436-47
2. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2012 Jan;237(1):58-63
3. The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, March 2016, Vol. 116, e13-e17