An ear infection is an inflammation of the middle ear, usually caused by bacteria, that occurs when fluid builds up behind the eardrum. Although anyone can get an ear infection, children get them more often than adults. About five out of six children will have at least one ear infection by their third birthday. In fact, ear infections are the most common reason parents bring their child to a doctor.
Eustachian tubes are smaller and more level in children than they are in adults. This makes it difficult for fluid to drain out of the ear, even under normal conditions. If the eustachian tubes are swollen or blocked with mucus due to a cold or other respiratory illness, fluid may not be able to drain.
"Numerous case studies and some clinical studies are revealing that there is a relationship between structural shifts in the spine, the nervous system and the various problems related to infections and hearing loss” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study.
These types of structural problems in the upper part of the neck cause a back-up of the lymphatics and problems with the tubes draining the middle ear. By removing the structural imbalance, chiropractic care helps these fluids drain, and improves nerve supply and range of motion.
Abnormal position or movement of the spinal vertebra can develop and this can lead to nerve interference. It is this interference, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct.
With everything we know about the dangers of antibiotic abuse and over the counter remedies being used on children, chiropractic intervention makes perfect sense in the case of childhood ear infections. In fact, chiropractic is the treatment of choice for dealing with the structural and neurological aspects of ear infections.
The patient reported on in the study was a 9½-year-old boy with chronic ear infections since the age of two. His lymph nodes were swollen and he had frequent fevers and difficulty sleeping.
Traditional medical interventions were not helping. In the 7 years prior to chiropractic care he had been treated repeatedly with antibiotics, butterfly tube implants three times and his adenoids were removed. Despite these failures his otolarygologist recommended a fourth surgery to insert tympanostomy tubes in his ears. He could not concentrate on his schoolwork and had a number of absences from school.
The chiropractor examined the child and found forward head syndrome, decreased spinal range of motion, spinal pain, and muscle spasm. Most significantly he had structural spinal shifts in his upper neck. These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct.
Following chiropractic care the subluxations reduced, his hearing improved, his ear infections and fevers stopped and the fluid in his ears was gone. He no longer needed tubes inserted in his ears, his sleep improved and school absences decreased.
Resolution of Chronic Otitis Media, Improvements in Hearing and Avoidance of Tympanostomy Tubes in a 9½ Year Old Boy Undergoing Chiropractic Care. Sean McWilliams, DC, CCEP & Courtney Rose, DC. Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, Chiropractic ~ September 27, 2018