Chiropractic Care and Ear Infections

If you are a parent, you have likely experienced the helplessness and frustration of your little one suffering from an ear infection. You’re not alone; ear infection or otitis media (OM) is the most common reason for visits to the pediatrician's office. According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, about 62% of children will have their first ear infection by age one and more than 80% by the age of three. 

A common treatment for ear infections is antibiotics, usually amoxicillin. In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (December, 1991), amoxicillin with and without decongestant anti-histamine combination is NOT effective for persistent asymptomatic middle ear effusions (fluid) in infant and children. In fact, occurrence of fluid in the ear was two to six times greater after the administration of amoxicillin! Additionally, the over use and over prescription of antibiotics has led to antibiotic resistant bacteria. I certainly support the use of antibiotics when absolutely necessary, but my recommendation is to always try the least invasive, drug free approach first. 

Luckily, there are non-drug treatments for this common condition. Developing research and studies do indicate a connection between Chiropractic Care and ear infections. Many parents are finding Chiropractic Care not only helps to speed the recovery time of an ear infection, Chiropractic Care can prevent them all together! Popular pediatric doctor, William Sears, MD, highly recommends using Chiropractic Care for improving middle ear drainage and decreasing ear infections. 

Exactly how does Chiropractic Care help ear infections? There is a direct link between the nerves in the neck, the muscles of the Eustachian tubes and the middle ear. The middle ear drains through the Eustachian tubes and is controlled by a nerve. When not functioning properly, muscles spasm, constricting the tube and constricting drainage. Chiropractic Adjustments restore function to the spine and take pressure off the nerve that supplies the tubes. The result is a free flowing and draining middle ear!