Chiropractic Care and Ear Infections

Chiropractic Helps in Prevention of Recurring Ear Infections.

In the October 1998 issue of the Ladies Home Journal appeared 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 the 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 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. Research and statistics is now showing that repeated use of antibiotics is contributing to future infections by creating drug-resistant infections. The surgical approach has met with little long term results as the “tubes” placed in children’s ears often come out and usually require a child to be put under general anesthesia to do the surgery.

The article in the Ladies Home Journal states, “Chiropractic care is thought to prevent recurrent infections by correcting misalignments (called subluxations) 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.

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, and you don’t have to “ask” permission from any other doctor to seek chiropractic care. As the sneaker company said, “just do it!”

“Chiropractic Care of 401 Children with Otitis Media: A Pilot Study”. Found in the March 1998 edition of Alternative Therapies and authored by Fallon and Edelman.

Conclusion:

“There is a strong correlation between chiropractic adjustment and the resolution of otitis media for the children in this study, which can serve as a starting point from which those in the chiropractic profession can examine their role.”

By the age of three, over two thirds of all children have had one or more episodes of otitis media or middle ear infection. There are numerous problems with antibiotic usage for children with ear infections such as: allergic reactions, GI upset, destruction of the gut’s intestinal flora leading to yeast proliferation and antibiotic resistance. Tubes in the ears have a 98% recurrence of infection within two months while 25% of those with tubes suffer from hearing loss years later.

The use of osteopathic manipulative treatment as adjuvant therapy in children with recurrent acute otitis media, Mills, MV; Henley, CE, Barnes, LLB et al. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2003;157:861-866.

57 patients 6 months to 6 years old with 3 episodes of acute otitis media (AOM) in the previous 6 months, or 4 in the previous year were placed randomly into 2 groups: one receiving routine pediatric care (32), the other receiving routine care plus osteopathic manipulative treatment (25).

The osteopathic patients had fewer episodes of AOM, fewer surgical procedures, and more surgery-free months and more normal tympanograms. No adverse reactions were reported.

This study suggest osteopathic manipulations may prevent or decrease surgical intervention or antibiotic overuse with children with AOM.

The management of acute otitis media using S.O.T. and S.O.T. Craniopathy. Hochman J. Today’s Chiropractic May/June 2001. Pages 41-42.

Sisters aged 2 and 4 with chronic ear infections who had received numerous courses of antibiotics over at least two years (no improvement) were adjusted using SOT and Dynamic Spinal Analysis methods. After the first visit, the mother reported that both children were “doing much better.” No more ear infections have been reported.

The management of acute otitis media using SOT and SOT cranial. Hochman, J. Sorsi Communicator Vol 14 No. 2 July 2001.

A baby boy, age 6 months, was scheduled for ear tubes. His atlas was adjusted. His ear infection completely cleared up by the next day. Tubes were never inserted.

Two [girls] aged 3 and 4 with chronic ear infections and upper respiratory dysfunction [received] upper dorsal and cranial adjustments. No more ear infections have occurred since the first visit.

Chronic recurrent otitis media: a common pediatric malady. Fysh PN. The philosophy, art and science of chiropractic. Lisbon 2000 Symposium proceedings. Pp. 64-68. Pub by the Foundation for the advancement of chiropractic tenets and science, ICA, Arlington, Virginia.

It is the author’s experience that none of the children in his study needed tympanostomy tubes inserted. Within 4 to 7 days of the commencement of the spinal adjusting program, the fluid level behind the tympanic membrane was most often resolved.

The effect of the correction of the vertebral subluxation on chronic otitis media in children. Heagy, DT Chiropractic Pediatrics, 1996; 2/2:6-7.

Four patients (from 14 months to 7 years of age) who had all had multiple antibiotic regimens responded to adjustments.

Case History Bofshever, H. Coral Springs, FL. ICPA Newsletter Nov/Dec 1999.

“An upset father presented to my office on 4-30-99, with his 9 year old son, who has been having chronic ear infections.”

So begins this case history. The boy had been having ear infections since he was 3 and they had been getting “progressively worse.” Five years prior tubes were put in his ears. The child was scheduled for another ear surgery and to have his swollen tonsils and adenoids removed. Child had been “on and off antibiotics at least every six weeks for the past six years.”

Chiropractic examination revealed subluxation complexes at C2 and C6. After the second adjustment father commented that the boy is “much more alert and is concentrating better at school.” Teachers noticed the improvement.” The boy stopped complaining about his ears after the first adjustment. At a six week evaluation there was no ear effusion in either ear. Tonsils and adenoids were normal size. ENT (ear nose and throat) doctor cancelled surgery. After 5 months, the child has had no ear infections, no sore throats, no colds, no flu and has been on no medications.

Chiropractic care of 401 children with otitis media: a pilot study. Fallon and Edelman. Alternative Therapies March 1998 4(2):93

There is a strong correlation between chiropractic adjustments and the resolution of otitis media for the children in this study, Chiropractors do not treat otitis media or any other malady, rather we correct the cause of the vertebral subluxation and allow the power that made the body heals the body. It happens no other way.

Case study: chiropractic results with a child with recurring otitis media accompanied by effusion. Peet, JB Chiropractic Pediatrics, 1996;2:8-10.

This is the study of a 5 year-old male who had recurring ear infections every three to six weeks for the previous two years. He had been on antibiotic therapy. The child began chiropractic care and for the next six month period had only one infection.

Irritable child with chronic ear effusion/infections responds to chiropractic care. Thomas D. Chiropractic Pediatrics 1997; 3(2) 13-14.

This child had chronic ear effusion infections since birth which continued regularly until 12 months of age. He was adjusted at 11 months for an atlas subluxation. After 8 weeks of care the child had not experienced an ear infection for one month and had not had any drugs or antibiotics since chiropractic care. Improvements in personality and behavior were also noted by the mother, babysitters and the chiropractor.

Allergy airway disease and otitis media in children. Todd NW, Feldman CM, Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 1985: 10(1):27-35.
Musculoskeletal eustachian tube dysfunction is an important etiological factor for otitis media. The eustachian tube dysfunction manifests primarily by poor ventilation from the nasopharynx to the middle ear, by allowing negative pressure in the middle ear.

The role of the chiropractic adjustment in the care and treatment of 332 children with otitis media. Fallon, JM. Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics Oct 1997, 2(2):167-183.

311 of the 332 had a history of prior antibiotic use. 53.7% of the children had their first bout of otitis media between the ages of 6 months and 1 year and a total of 69.9% of the subjects in the study had their first bout of OM under a year of age. This is consistent with the findings of others.

The children were 27-days-old to five-years-old. The average number of adjustments administered by types of otitis media were as follows: acute otitis media (127 children) 4 adjustments; chronic/serous otitis media (104 children) 5 adjustments; for mixed type of bilateral otitis media (10 children) 5.3 adjustments; where no otitis was initially detected (74 children) 5.88 adjustments. The number of days it took to normalize the otoscopic examination was for acute 6.67, chronic/serous 8.57 and mixed 8.3. The number of days it took to normalize the tympanographic examination was acute 8.35, chronic/serous 10.18 and mixed 10.9 days. The overall recurrence rate over a six month period from initial presentation in the office was for acute 11.02%, chronic/serous 16.34%, for mixed 30% and for none present 17.56%.