Recent research reporting on improvement in a 10 year old boy undergoing chiropractic care reveals that chiropractic may play an important role in managing children with ear infections. The research, reported in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health – Chiropractic, includes a review of the literature supporting the role of chiropractic in children suffering from ear infections and calls for more research in this area.
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“Numerous case studies and some clinical studies are revealing that there is a relationship between abnormalities in the spine, the nervous system and the various problems related to ear infections” 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 helps these fluids drain, and improves nerve supply and range of motion.”
In addition to ear infections, the child suffered from allergies and couldn’t sleep and the ear pressure was described as severe. After first seeking help from their medical doctor who recommended taking Flonase and Zyrtec that offered no help, the parents of the child brought her to a chiropractor who checked the child’s spine for vertebral subluxations, found them and then reduced them. 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 these 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.” remarked McCoy “This child was experiencing significant pain and disruption in quality of life as a result of his ear infections and the medical intervention was not helping. It wasn’t until the chiropractic intervention that the child improved dramatically and in a very short time.”
The unique aspect of this case study is the improvement in the neck curvature that resulted from the chiropractic care. The spine is supposed to have three normal curves in the neck, mid back and lower spine. A loss of these normal curves is typically associated with vertebral subluxations.
The patient’s ears drained the next two days after the first adjustment and by the time he came back for his second adjustment there was 100% improvement in his ears. The child had an 86% improvement in the curve in his neck after just two weeks.
The authors call for more research on the role of chiropractic and ear infections.
Matthew McCoy DC, MPH
Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health – Chiropractic