An eight year old boy presented to our practice with recurrent lung infections for most of the year for the past three years and also pain in the right front hip area which came and went but was annoying him daily. He had difficulty with running as put the same arm and leg forwards instead of using ‘cross patterning’. He had a difficult birth, so had seen an osteopath when he was a baby in another country who had recommended to ‘keep an eye on his back’. He mouth breathed and was generally tired.
On examination, his torso was side bending to the right with the right hip higher than the left when he stood with feet together, resulting in a difference in leg length. He had considerable tightness in and around his thoracic diaphragm (which is the main muscle of breathing) and irritation through the nerves to his lungs. I suspected a primitive reflex had not been integrated. I also considered and ruled out from the history and examination, any concern of hip or knee joint pathology and decided it was safe to treat him.
The first treatment used gentle osteopathic techniques to begin to reduce the musculoskeletal strains in his back and pelvis and to assist his lung function. He was able to lie down and became very relaxed during the treatment. We discussed the importance of nose breathing and showed him how to work towards this.
On his second visit (which was five months later) his mother was happy to report “he had not any coughs or lung infections over winter and was now breathing much better through his nose”.Two more treatments were required to balance his pelvis and spine with growing. His leg lengths became equal and stayed equal. There had been an issue of non compliance with the thigh stretches he was asked to do which meant this process took a little longer than it need to have.
He is now cross patterning well when he walks and runs and will return in six months time to recheck as he is growing quickly at this time. We want to ensure his body is able to move freely and equally to each side and that he is able to enjoy optimal health into his future.