Osteopathy is a gentle therapy that can be utilised by all ages, including babies, infants, children and adolescents. Osteopaths work with children, their families and other health professionals to improve child health and family wellbeing. 

Osteopaths who care for children can:

  • Support mothers and babies needing assistance after birth

  • Discuss a child's physical growth and developmental milestones

  • Provide rehabilitation after injury or surgery

  • Manage chronic conditions or physical impairments

  • Assist with difficulties relating to posture and movement. 

Caring for children is a privilege and requires a unique body of knowledge. 

Osteopaths who care for children have an in depth knowledge of:

  • Paediatric clinical presentations, and assessment and screening protocols

  • Physical growth and developmental milestones 

  • Screening for general health and wellbeing issues that affect children and young people

  • Age appropriate manual therapy interventions

  • Broader health interventions for children and young people outside of manual therapy 

  • Paediatric referral pathways

An assessment of a paediatric client follows a similar pattern to adult clients.

Consultations commence with a review of a child’s health history and present health concerns. For babies and infants this includes an obstetric and birth history. The osteopath will also discuss and establish the goals of a child and/or family in order to provide tailored therapeutic care.


In addition, paediatric consultations may include the following clinical components. 

  • Discussion of physical developmental milestones 

  • Musculoskeletal and movement screening to assess for any impediments to developmental milestones

  • Consideration of biological, social and psychological factors that contribute to a healthy lifestyle for a child.

  • Discussion of age or developmentally appropriate osteopathic treatments available

  • Determination of an appropriate child health referral pathway, as required

When caring for children, osteopaths use a combination of approaches.


  • Health education

  • Age appropriate exercises

  • Home based management strategies

  • Hands on manual therapy

Osteopathic management of paediatric clients may occur in isolation, or in conjunction with other medical and allied health professionals including GPs, occupational therapists, speech pathologists and child health nurses.

Want to know more?

Check out our Osteopathic FAQs to learn more about osteopathy, including training and treatment techniques.


Read about osteopathic pregnancy and post-natal care