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Ear Infections in Kids

How Pediatric Chiropractic Care May be Able to Help

Today I was reading a case study discussing the success of chiropractic with regards to complementing children’s health care when it comes to ear infections. It made me think , what a great topic for our blog!

In our office we often see infants and children coming in with ear pain or repeat infections. For the average person, ear infections are likely the last thing that you think about when you think about going to a chiropractor. Chiropractic care involves diagnosing spinal imbalances and correcting them by adjusting the spine. A slight pressure is most commonly used with children rather than the more forceful manipulation sometimes used with adults.

Imbalances of the spine can occur during childbirth, from tumbles or falls, or from any other normal activity. If the imbalance is left untreated inflammation may occur which can irritate the nerves and add stress to the nervous system and the body’s ability to function properly. The purpose of a chiropractic adjustment is to help restore normal functioning to the nervous system so that the body can heal itself.

A promising study published in the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics indicates that there is a strong correlation between chiropractic adjustments and the resolution of ear infections. 332 children with chronic ear infections participated in the study. Each child, ranging in age from 27 days to 5 years, was given a series of chiropractic adjustments. The results show that close to 80% of the children did not experience another ear infection within the six-month period following their initial visits.

The six-month period included maintenance treatments every four to 6 weeks. Joan M. Fallon, D.C., the author of the study and chiropractor who treated the children in the study, states that this pilot study can serve as a starting point from which the chiropractic profession can begin to examine its role in the treatment of children with chronic ear infections. She asserts that large-scale clinical trials need to be undertaken in the field.

Parents might ask “But what about the pain? Are there things you can do to help my child feel more comfortable during the healing process?” Yes!

  1.  Warmth against the outside of the ear may provide some comfort.
  2. To ease some of the pressure, have your child sleep with the sore ear up.
  3. Try a cold sock treatment to stimulate the immune system and relieve congestions.

In rare occasions, there may be other more serious causes of ear pain.

These are a few things to watch for which may require an immediate trip to the hospital:

  • The child has a stiff neck, cannot touch his/her chin to their chest, or cannot curl into the fetal position and kiss their knee.
  • There is redness, swelling and tenderness over the bond behind the ear (mastoiditis)
  • The child has ear pain and none of the above but is acting very sick and your intuition tells you something is wrong. Your intuition is very strong. Always listen to it and consult your family physician.

If you or your child has an ear infection, consider chiropractic as a part of your health care recovery process.

Written by Dr. Sarah Chajka, HBKin, DC, Webster Certified


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