With winter rapidly approaching, I have noticed a significant increase in ear infections. Parents are surprised that chiropractic care can have positive outcomes when it comes to alleviating the pain and discomfort of recurring ear infections in children. I started to look up some research and found an October 1998 issue of the Ladies Home Journal. In this publication, there was an article entitled, “Chiropractic Adjustments for Chronic Ear Infections.” This article reviewed several studies showing the effectiveness of chiropractic care for preventing re-occurring ear infections known as Otitis Media or OM.
According to this article, reoccurring ear infections account for over 35% of all pediatrician visits in the United States. Sometimes these infections are due to bacteria and sometimes these infections are due to a virus. The most common medical care for this situation has been antibiotics, even though antibiotics have no effect on viruses. While the article mentions that the antibiotic may be effective in an acute bacterial infection, they do nothing to stop repeat infections. We find this to be the case most of the time. Research and statistics now show that the repeated use of antibiotics are contributing to future infections by creating drug-resistant infections. The surgical approach has been met with criticism because the “tubes” placed in children’s ears often come out and usually require a child to be put under general anesthesia for surgery.
Most of our patients with chronic ear infections fit this storyline. Most of them are facing either tubes or some other safer alternative. That is why they seek out our office for relief. The article in the Ladies Home Journal states, “Chiropractic care is thought to prevent recurrent infections by correcting misalignments (called subluxations or fixations), reducing cervical muscular tension, and allowing normal fluid drainage from the middle ear.” What the article took special note of was that 6 months after the chiropractic care was given to the children in the study, 80 percent had not suffered a recurrence of ear infections. We find this to be consistent with our personal experiences as well.
In closing the article did make a profound statement. They made a recommendation to parents on this subject. “If your child is between ear infections and his doctor suggests ear-tube surgery, ask if you can try chiropractic treatment first.” While we agree with that sentiment, we suggest you not wait for a period between episodes. It is best to just go get your child checked. Not only will it save your child from constant pain, it will stop the re-occurrence of future infections in most cases.