Chiropractic for Ear Infections
Ear infections are very common and can occur in the inner, middle, or outer ear. Although anyone can get an ear infection, children are more likely than adults to get them. Ear infections often clear up on their own, but some people are prone to reoccurring ear infections. This can cause hearing problems and other serious complications.
What causes ear infections?
An ear infection is caused by bacteria or a virus in the ear that causes congestion and swelling of the nasal passages, throat, and eustachian tubes.
The eustachian tubes are a pair of narrow tubes that run from each middle ear to high in the back of the throat, behind the nasal passages. Swollen eustachian tubes can become blocked, causing fluids to build up in the ear. This fluid can become infected and cause the symptoms of an ear infection.
In children, the eustachian tubes are narrower and more horizontal, which makes them more difficult to drain and likely to get clogged.
Another cause of ear infections are swelling of the adenoids. Adenoids are two small pads of tissues that are located high in the back of the nose, which are believed to play a role in immune system function.
Because adenoids are near the opening of the eustachian tubes, swelling of the adenoids may block the tubes. This can lead to middle ear infection. Adenoids in children are larger than those in adults, which also makes them more prone to infection.
Complications from ear infections
While most ear infections don’t cause long-term complications, reoccurring ear infections can lead to serious complications. These can include:
- Impaired hearing
- Speech or developmental delays
- Spread of infection
- Tearing of the eardrum
How are ear infections treated?
Symptoms of ear infections usually improve with the first couple of days, and many ear infections clear up on their own within one or two weeks without any treatment. Some doctors may prescribe antibiotics for ear infections; however, using antibiotics too often can cause bacteria to become resistant to the medicine.
Chiropractic for ear infections
For those who have reoccurring ear infections, chiropractic might be a beneficial treatment method that aims to solve the root issue, preventing future ear infections and leading to long-term remission of symptoms. This is especially beneficial for children.
Case studies showing positive changes in ear infections after chiropractic care are becoming more and more abundant. Although chiropractic is not a treatment for any specific disease, it is designed to maximize your body’s recuperative abilities.
Research supporting the treatment of ear infections with chiropractic
“Chiropractic Care of 401 Children with Otitis Media: A Pilot Study,” was published in the 1998 edition of Alternative Therapies, authored by Fallon and Edelman. The study concluded that there is a strong correlation between chiropractic adjustments and the resolution of otitis media for the children involved in this study.
Another study that found chiropractic to be an effective treatment for ear infections is titled, “Irritable Child with Chronic Ear Effusion/Infections Responds to Chiropractic Care.” In this study, a child had chronic ear infections since birth, which continued regularly until 12 months of age. The child was adjusted at 11 months for an atlas subluxation. After 8 weeks of chiropractic care, the child had not experienced an ear infection for one month and was not prescribed any medication. Improvements in personality and behavior were also noted by the mother, babysitters, and chiropractor.
A third study titled, “Prevention and Therapy of Serious Otitis Media by Oral Decongestants: A Double-blind Study in Pediatric Practice,” treated 57% of patients in the study with spinal manipulative therapy and salt-water gargle. All patients were symptom free the next day. Additionally, all of the patients in the study with laryngitis were treated with spinal manipulative therapy and their voice function returned to normal within one day.
Lastly, “Chiropractic Results With a Child With Recurring Otitis Media Accompanied by Effusion,” a study by Peet, JB Chiropractic Pediatrics, followed a five-year old male with recurring otitis media. He was treated with chiropractic adjustments over a period of 6 months. During the 6-month period, the child only had one middle ear infection with mild effusion. In the previous year, the child had recurring infections approximately every three to six weeks!
How long does it take to see results?
Patients have reportedly experienced improvement in as little as one visit, although a treatment plan involving continued chiropractic adjustments is generally recommended. Everyone’s situation is different, which is why it’s necessary to receive a comprehensive chiropractic evaluation to assess your body’s needs.
If you, or your child, are suffering from ear infections, chiropractic is a proven treatment method that’s all natural and maximizes your body’s ability to function.
We invite you to schedule an appointment with our chiropractic office to receive a comprehensive consultation where one of our doctors can assess your situation, properly diagnose the issue, and get you started on a treatment plan to help reduce ear infections and experience long-term remission.