About the course

This course is designed for qualified osteopaths with a range of paediatric experience, including newly qualified osteopaths who have limited or no experience of treating children as well as osteopaths with more paediatric experience who may want to refresh and broaden their learning in this field.

Although the content will be based on the paediatric population and how their anatomy and physiology makes them particularly vulnerable to respiratory disorders, the learning will also be relevant to treatment of adult patients.

The course format will be a mixture of presentations, small group work and demonstration and practice of techniques. Course content includes the development of the respiratory system and the effects of prematurity, differential diagnosis and examination of the respiratory system. Disorders of the upper and lower respiratory tract will be covered (eg asthma, croup, bronchiolitis, mouth breathing, sinus disorders, allergic rhinitis, middle ear dysfunction) along with their osteopathic management. There is a strong grounding in anatomy and particular attention will be given to cranial anatomy with relevance to upper respiratory tract infections and how osteopathic technique can have an influence. 

Summary of Osteopathic Practice Standards (updated) covered in this course

A Communication and patient partnership - A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6

B Knowledge, skills and performance - B1, B2, B3

C Safety and Quality in Practice - C1, C2, C4, C6

Communication and Consent -1.5hrs

-Communication with child and parent/carer during examination, including management of a child who doesn’t want to be touched.

- How to explain complexities of osteopathic principles and anatomy to child and parent/carer

-Gaining consent for examination and treatment for children and communicating information effectively to appropriately inform the patient / parent.

Objective Activity - 1.5hrs

There will be one main case-based discussion and 3 shorter ones. Information of the case will be given to students in a sequential manner and questions will be asked at each stage, with small group work discussion and feedback to the whole group:

-Initially a photograph of the patient to discuss what visible features are suggestive of pathology

-Following this a brief summary of the history will be given and students will hypothesise what history and treatment of his respiratory system has occurred

-Following this a handout with a detailed case history will be given and students will discuss how the history has affected his respiratory and other systems and what his likely symptoms and examination will reveal;

-Following this the patient’s symptoms and examination findings will be given and students will discuss and analyse patient management and limitations of osteopathy.

Learning Outcomes

Understand the development of the respiratory system and how this is influenced by maternal health, pregnancy pathophysiology and prematurity.

Be able to formulate differential diagnoses for respiratory symptoms and identify red flags

Learn how to examine the respiratory system in children of different ages

Gain a deep knowledge of paediatric pathologies affecting the upper and lower respiratory tract and an understanding of anatomical and physiological vulnerabilities of the paediatric respiratory system

Be able to apply osteopathic paediatric knowledge and principles in the treatment and management of patients.

Course Suitability

This course is suitable for qualified osteopaths.


Day One

09:00-09:30   Registration

09:30-11:15    Development of the respitatory system

11:15-11:30    Break

11:30-12:30    Differential diagnosis and examination of the respiratory system

12:30-13:30    Lunch

13:30-14:30    Pneumaology

14:30-15:45    Treatment of the thorax

15:45-16:00    Break

16:00-17:30    Overview of cranial anatomy with reference to the upper respiratory tract

Day Two 

09:30-10:30    Treatment of the vault and external facial techniques

10:30-10:45    Break

10:45-12:30    Upper respiratory tract including mouth breathing, obstructive sleep apnoea, sinuses, adenoids                              and tonsils

12:30-13:30    Lunch

13:30-14:30    Intra-oral techniques

14:30-15:45    Middle ear pathology

15:45-16:00    Break

16:00-17:00    Treatment of the middle ear            

17:00-17:30    Reflection on the four themes of the Osteopathic Practice Standards

About the course leader

Lizzy graduated from the British School of Osteopathy (BSO) in 2008, with a Bachelor of Osteopathy. After doing Post-Graduate Training at the Osteopathic Centre for Children (OCC) for two years, she gained a Masters in Paediatric Osteopathy.

Lizzy currently teaches on the PGCert in Specialist Paediatric Osteopathic Practice, leading the Respiratory Unit. She also works as an undergraduate Clinic Tutor at the in-house Children’s Clinic and outreach at First Place Children’s Centre.