Ear pain is one of the most popular documented reasons for children to visit a chiropractor. Almost half of all children will experience at least one middle ear infection before the age of one. This excruciating pain is the result of the build-up of fluid in the inner ear and can also be followed by fever and irritability. While this ear pain may be bacterial or viral in nature, the vast majority of these children do not have an infection at all. When samples of the fluid are examined the fluid is found to be sterile. If this condition becomes chronic in nature it may put a child at risk for permanent hearing damage or developmental problems.
Conventional treatment from a pediatrician usually consists of a prescription of antibiotics. Antibiotics do not fight off viruses. These drugs are not much more effective than the body’s own immune system. According to Dr. Michael A. Schmidt, the statistics show that if your child has had one round of antibiotics the frequency of recurrent infections is three times greater than if antibiotics were not used at all. Antibiotics used over great periods of time can lead to drug-resistant bacteria. In severe cases when the fluid has not responded to the antibiotic therapy and hearing has become noticeably affected ear tubes may be surgically implanted to help with the drainage. Unfortunately, a general anesthetic is required and this procedure is only effective in about 20 to 30 percent of the cases.
More and more parents today are now seeking alternatives to invasive past solutions. Chiropractors have been helping children with this chronic problem for over 100 years. This ear infection, also known as Otis Media, has been strongly linked to a subluxation of the cervical spine. A Subluxation occurs when a spinal bone (vertebrae) looses its proper alignment and or motion causing an irritation to a nerve. You may be curious as to how such a young person can become subluxated. Just think back to the birth process and the amount of pressure placed on the cervical spine (neck) during the delivery. This is the reason we encourage moms to have all newborns checked for subluxations soon after birth. Or if your birth appeared to be without cause, look at tumbles and little falls that were taken during this learning to walk phase. If a cervical vertebra becomes misaligned even the slightest bit it could disrupt the nerve function which can affect the workings of the Eustachian tube.
By diagnosing the cause of the problem and not treating just the symptoms, a chiropractor will adjust the misaligned vertebrae gently easing it back into proper alignment allowing the body to begin to heal itself. By taking the pressure off the nerve that goes to the Eustachian tube, its proper function will be restored allowing the fluid to drain appropriately. The body will ultimately be healthier and build up its own antibodies to fight future infections.