Last time we began discussing Orofacial Myology and what complaints may bring people in to seek out an assessment. Even at your ‘normal’ osteopathic appointment, an orofacial and airway focused Osteopath may ask you questions such as:
- Do you snore?
- Do you eat with your mouth closed?
- Do you need a nap in the afternoons?
- Have you needed dental work/palate expansion/dental surgery over the years?
- Do you or your child bite their lip or drool excessively?
- Does your child wake up tired?
- Did your child have an assisted birth, for example with forceps?
- Did your child have any issues feeding as an infant or with the transition to solids?
All of these questions (plus more!) can help to screen the ability of the tongue, mouth, lips and airway to function and may indicate that treatment and exercises could be of benefit.
Why Osteopathy and Orofacial Myology work so well together.
Osteopaths can work with all the tissues of the body to create balance, increase function and circulation, decrease discomfort and tension. Practitioners with Orofacial Myology as part of their treatment toolkit can not only assess and treat the fascia and muscles of the face, mouth and tongue with gentle manual therapy but offer the added benefit of exercise prescription for these areas. Both modalities place emphasis on breathing and respiration and hence can work together beautifully to provide a wholistic lens for the patient’s management. Furthermore, Osteopaths with paediatric experience can tie these treatments together for your child as early as possible so as to help create the best environment for growth and development.
Do I need a referral to see an Osteopath with Orofacial Myology training?
No, you do not need a referral from a medical practitioner. However, as allied health practitioners, it is best practice to work as a team to achieve successful outcomes for yourself or your child. I often refer to and receive referrals from speech pathologists, dentists, lactation consultants, and Ear Nose Throat Specialist (ENTs).
Furthermore, it is important to screen the ability of the patient to breathe appropriately – if the patient can not breathe adequately due to allergies, enlarged tonsils, adenoids, then these factors must be investigated and addressed – this is another reason that the multidisciplinary approach is optimal.