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Pediatric Ear Infections

A case study published on July 17, 2014, in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health documented chiropractic care helping a 9-year-old girl who was suffering from chronic ear infections, neck pain, and headaches. The case study reported that the little girl was scheduled to have tympanostomy tubes placed in her ears in three weeks. Her problem had left her with approximately 60% hearing loss in her left ear and 30% hearing loss in her right ear. In the four months prior to being brought to the chiropractor, the girl was treated with antibiotics for her ear infections five times. In three of those episodes, her tympanic membranes had burst. In addition to the ear problems, she was suffering from neck pain and occasional but severe headaches. The results of the chiropractic care were immediate and profound. The study records that over the first three weeks of chiropractic care, the girl did not experience a single headache. After three weeks of chiropractic care, the girl was brought to an otolaryngologist for a re-evaluation where it was found that the girl's hearing level had returned to 95% of normal. As a result of these profound improvements, the tympanostomy tubes surgery was considered unnecessary, and the procedure was cancelled. "Numerous studies have identified positive outcomes in otitis media with chiropractic care based on the detection and removal of spinal subluxations," the authors wrote in their conclusion. "This case study demonstrated a total remission of chronic ear infections in a girl under chiropractic care."


The reason chiropractic care is helpful with this ear infections has to do with an imbalance in the cervical (neck) muscles. In babies, toddlers and small children the ear tube tends to lay slightly slanted, more closely positioned to the horizontal side. This can casue a fluid build-up in the ear.  As the child grows into an adult, the tube dips downward allowing for proper fluid drainage. Misaligned cervical vertebra tighten the neck muscles which pull the ear tube horizontal, causing a decrease or a blockage in ear fliud flow. This pooling of the fluid allows bacteria to develop, which then leads to an ear infection.

Chiropractic care corrects the alignment of the vertebra, balancing the musculature, taking pressure off the ear tube positioning. The ear tube then dips down allowing the fluid to drain, preventing bacterial build-up. Also, the adjustment improves the spinal nerve flow to the ears, increasing function to the ear area.

The general public is not aware of the benefits of chiropractic care for pediatric ear infections.  In my office, patient education on this subject starts with pregnancy care.  The pregnant mother is taught all about this condition so once pregnancy is over and the baby is born, the mother has another tool in her healthcare arsenal if her child should develope ear infections.


Dr J. Zimmerman, Chiropractor Dr. Zimmerman is a practicing chiropractor from Galloway, NJ with 30 years of chiropractic practice.

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